Favorite Great Lakes Steelhead Flys [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Favorite Great Lakes Steelhead Flys

12-09-2002, 07:21 PM
What are yours ?

Here are mine:


- Hex nymphs - many different patterns, natural colors, bead heads

- Caddis - PM, Disco,Viagra and many other variations

- Gartside Sparrows

- Stone - PM Stone, Bears Stone,many others variations. Otis Bug etc.

- Fresh water shrimp - Mysis several variations

Egg Flies

- Single egg yarn fly - Oregon Cheese, Apricot, Early Girl, Peachy King, Chartreuse, baby blue colors

- Clown egg

- Nuke egg

- Cactus Chenille eggs

- Bead egg and skein

Hair Wings

- Blue Berg

- Black and Boss Comet

- Cossebooms and Rats

- Black Bear Green Butt

- Skunk - Green butt and normal

- PM Interceptor - Fluor Green

- Crick


- Graus Tiger

- Blue Smolt

- Chinook smolt

- Cardinelle

- Smelt & Alewife - Several variations

Marabou Speys

- Popsicles - various colors

Bunny leeches

- Black, Purple,

12-09-2002, 08:42 PM
In my limited steelhead experience here are my favorites:


Estaz stones - black, brown, olive

Caddis - Bright green larva, viagra caddis


Scrammbled eggs - chartreuse/flame, oregon cheese/peachy king

Blood dots - various color combos

Simple eggs - chartreuse, oregon cheese, blue

Estaz eggs

Sucker spawn - pink, cream, oregon cheese, orange

I've only used nymphing tactics so I don't have any favorites for streamers. I would like to learn though.....need more time on the water.

12-10-2002, 08:37 AM
My Fav's:

Black Egg Sucking Leech

Egg Sucking Sculpin

Any Wolly Bugger

Steelhead Hammer

Nuclear Roe Bug

Colemans Estaz Egg

12-10-2002, 08:54 AM
My faves:

Coast Orange
Purple Peril
Thunder & Lightning
Sol Duc Spey
Polar Shrimp


12-10-2002, 04:08 PM
of my favorite ties:

Hex, caddis, Stone, Hares Ear (Flashback), Prince, PTs, and Shrimp

Egg Flies:
Dots, Nukes, Estaz, Clowns, Jerry Garcias,

Hair Wings:
Green butt skunk, Purple Peril

Bunny Sculpins, Small white stuff, Clousers (Bright), BBCD

Marabou Speys
Yeah some of those too, in a variety of colors.

12-10-2002, 04:50 PM
Just can't get myself to use the Lawyer (ESL) flies yet.

I have heard of the Jerry Garcia but don't think I ever saw a picture of one. What is that tie ?

Got to add it this to to my fly wallett: True story: Went to the NY Filmore East theatre for a rock concert in Feb 1970 with my brother who was a rock mucsician and his muscisian friend who played with Arlo Guthries band. Grateful Dead and All Man Brothers were the two top groups. Anyway we had front row seats got their early and was talking to Jerry. Pretty cool, we did not know they were going to become rock super stars. Also love the Ben & Gerrys - Cherry Garcia ice cream try it some time.

Pm Out

12-10-2002, 09:09 PM
I would have to say they would be this:

Nymphs -

1)Little Stones(allocanpia)
2)Hex Nymphs
3)Amnesia Caddis
4)Czech Mate Nymphs


1)Scramebled Eggs
2)Sucker Spawn
3)Nuke Egg
4)Dan's McCloud Egg

2)Sculpin imitations
3)Chinook Parr

Surf Patterns
1)Dan's Great Lakes Alewife
2)Dan's Holographic GL Baitfish

3)Surf Candies

12-10-2002, 10:25 PM

Learned a very important thing at a Dead concert in the 70's.

never i mean never drink out of the pass around wine bota.:smokin:

12-11-2002, 06:59 AM
I know what you mean ! :smokin:

Nor on the steelhead rivers with flower children and hippie generation fly fishing anglers:whoa:

12-11-2002, 10:40 AM
LOL....Lawyer flies :hehe: My Dad is gonna love that.
JG Eggs-email me your addy again and I'll send a couple over. It basically is just the right colored yarn to make it look sort of tie-died. Sounds like you had a rare opportunity to see a couple of the greats in their prime. The last couple dead shows I saw, most of us were standing around wondering if he was gonna die on stage? :rolleyes:


PS What do you guys mean?,,,Like the wine doesn't taste very good?;) :hehe:

12-11-2002, 11:33 AM

Nice avatar picture of the puppie. Does he like to fish ?

Tie dyed egg flies, actually I probably already have them just didn't know they were called JG flies. Will have to do another trade soon got some new egg flies you have probably not seen up there in Wolverine land yet.

Actually at the show in 1970 at the Filmore East The Allmans Brothers were the first act of the show the lowest ranking band, a group called Love was next, than The Dead. All Man Brothers had just released their first album and no body including my brother knew who they were.

They were the best band that night at the Filmore East and went on to rock and roll stardom along with The Dead. Great memory that night was on a snowy Greenwich village night.

PM Out

12-11-2002, 11:46 AM
Hal, I am jealous that you got to see the Allmans back when Duane was still with them. One of the greatest slide players of all time. I've seen them over 15 times and they're still my favorite (and I'm 29 years old - missed out on the glory days).

12-11-2002, 12:30 PM
One of the greatest for sure. I'm a youngin too Dave. It's always cool to hear about the glory days from people that got to be right there when it was all going down. Makes me wonder what stories will be big hits when we get older. I am praying that it isn't boy bands.:hehe:

Hal, another swap is in order for sure. I am sure you have some of those eggs. It is mostly pastel colors pulled sparse and small and then clumped together so they blend in and then posted up like a normal yarn egg. That avatar is actually a pic of a buddy's hound who stuck some of those bubba teeth in him and took the shot. I thought it was funny so...what the heck. My dog has now put 2 and 2 together and knows that when I grab my gear we are going fishing. Today I caught him tugging on the straps of my gear bag as if to say "Common..don't go back to work....let's go fishing!" I wish I could have...its 42 here right now.


12-11-2002, 01:45 PM
Hey I did not notice the bubba teeth thats right up Flyfishark alley, there is an entire web site on that somewheres.

Looks like I will have a new dog soon probably a huskie of some type my younger son football player wants something to run with and his turn to pick the dog. But my wife said maybe we should have two so them I get to pick the second one.

Now that I think about the Allman Brothers and Dead Concert half of them are probably dead now. JG, Pigpen, Duane Allman etc.. Is Dickie Betts still alive he was really good.

Yes those days were really a renaissance period for america in many ways.

The front row concert ticket was like $ 20 also.

PM Out

12-11-2002, 02:01 PM
Dickie still rips on the guitar and the Allmans are still pretty good live considering the number of brain cells they have destroyed along the way :devil: Always a great mix of folks at their shows.

I think the only other casualty from that gig in addition to those you mentioned was Berry Oakley, who crashed on his motorcycle almost exactly one year from Duane's death.

12-11-2002, 02:36 PM
OK, I remember now forgive me that was 32 years ago.

Your memory fades when you get my age (55) imagine it at Freds age though (60). :D

12-11-2002, 08:43 PM

Looks like you are the only spey/hair wing ONLY wet fly steelheader amongst us ?

Been tempted to go fully that way but to be honest I have not been as successful as when using nymphs and egg flys. I use them but only at certain times and situations.

You ought to try my PM Interceptor which was in another fly swap earlier this year. The tying instructions and picture are on the forumn in another thread. I fish it from size 4 down to size 8. Have taken browns, steelies, and kings on it.

Put the name in the search engine and you should be able to find it. If not send me a PM and I will send the tie to you.

PM Out

12-12-2002, 08:46 AM
I was diggin through old tapes last night and I may have come up with a copy of that show! It is labeled "Filmore-Allmans/Dead" I am trying to find a set list online to campare it with. It sounds pretty old and not great quality, but, if it is one in the same I'll send you over a copy to listen too. Maybe you can make out your voice in the crowd noise!:hehe:
Also, after I do some tweaking this weekend I may have a new sculpin pattern for you. I won't reveal til I get a chance to field test it.:razz:


12-12-2002, 09:29 AM

Cool you really may have it? Is that the only show they did together ? Did not know I may have been part of history that snowy night in 1970 - Greenwich Village, NYC - Filmore East. Have to tell my brother who is the rock musician, plays in small bands now once in a while. Very good bass player and singer sounds like Paul McCartney sings all of his songs. Went to a few studio recording sessions in NY but the bands he was with it never made it. Played NY area night clubs for years.

New Sculpin pattern, hey maybe a trad for my new egg and shrimp pattern is in order.

Hows the wire prototypes coming ?

PM Out

12-14-2002, 07:38 AM
Any of you guys try tubes?

tie the same pattern on a tube either plastic or metal. What you get is a fly with a 360d view. Brass tubes are pretty neat, you eliminate the need for those nasty sink tips.

Check out Flydishusa.com for parts and pieces. Just remembr to scale down. You can tie nymphs, sculpins,buggers, on them. Your only limit is your imagination.

The original Allaman Bros. Band was probably the best rock band to come out of the 70's. Once Duane died that was it for them. Also Jim H. was not too shappy.

They have a new Cd and DVD out with his Isle of Wright concert. Bought both, some real top notch stuff.

12-14-2002, 09:32 AM
I got the materials to make my own metal tubes but the amount of work seems to high at least for me withmy limited time, due to work, family, etc... Have some metal tubes from one of our PNW forumn members which will be dredged soon on GL rivers.

Will check it out anything to get deeper and make fly tying faster.


PM Out

P.S. Will check out All man Brothers music, checked out their web site could not believe the detail history they have on shows starting in 1969. They have the shows I went to in 1970 at the Filmore east.

There only 2003 concert is at the Beacon Theatre in NY for a week in March. Probably sold out already.

12-14-2002, 11:27 AM
The new Almans are not the same, get the Live at filmore east double cd and you will see what I mean.

As to tying tubes, I can kick out a good fly in 5-6 minutes, try it you will be amazed.

Get the tool that Mark B sells flyfishusa.com its only $19 and well worth it.

12-14-2002, 12:14 PM
OK, anything to make the tying process faster. Thanks !!

PM Out

12-14-2002, 01:09 PM
its money well spent. Get some 1/2 brass tubes and have a go.

12-16-2002, 09:22 AM

Holding out on listing your favorite GL patterns from us I see. We will have to go fishing so I can sneak a look into your fly boxes. :devil:

PM Out

12-16-2002, 09:39 AM
The fish usually tell me what the like. Most of my fish have been on a simple caddis pattern tied from a single marabou feather. Go figure. I like speys on tubes they are pretty neat, but if the fish don't like em all I am doing is washing hooks.

I'll give you colors, purple, black, tan, pink, and green. Never all at once, imagine that fly if you would.

12-16-2002, 10:18 AM
Yep those are about the standard colors except I would add "creme". Green I assume is "fluor green" and "olive" ?

I wonder if I could make up a fly which contains all of those colors ? Have to think about it further.

PM Out

12-16-2002, 10:50 AM
Forgot about creme, the green is olive and a flor type. Both work like magic.

12-16-2002, 11:49 AM
Nope creme nymph bodiies are good to go, believe me.

PM Out

12-16-2002, 06:42 PM
I have used them and they work, just give me a purple or green and i am good to go.

12-16-2002, 06:58 PM
Mostly use my own patterns but some traditonals too:

Marabou speys of assorted colours and styles

- Dirty Harry - purple and black
- Guardsman - black, red & gold
- Lil' Sucker - tan, white and gold

- Rainbow Smelt in long and short shank versions
- Joe's Niagara Smelt

John Valk's Petite Steelhead Wet in yellows or oranges

Traditional PNW
- Green Butt Skunk
- Van Luven and variations

Traditional Wets
- Partridge & Orange including variants

- Little black stiones
- flashback stones

The usual gang of buggers and leeches, mostly olive, purple and black.

12-16-2002, 07:03 PM

Ok whats a "Weamer", never heard that term figured you canucks have secret flies up there.

PM Out

12-16-2002, 07:07 PM
Never heard of one, have seen some very nice woven flies. they look pretty neat on the hook. You get the 360d view.

12-16-2002, 07:19 PM
It's my own concoction, part spey wet fly, part streamer and can be fished like either. Basically, you tie a simple spey or marabou spey fly then add a streamer wing and eyes if you wish. It has a number of advantages. Most baitfish have a bulbous whiteish body with a thinner, longer, darker upper body and tail. The Weamer fits this profile. It has far more movement than a standard streamer and if you use a dubbin ball behind a marabou collar, it'll produce a blunt pattern with a sculpin-like profile that'll push a lot of water. If you want a thinner profile, then palmer the marabou over the front half of the hook shank.


12-16-2002, 07:21 PM
The first one was more like a streamer, this one is a little closer to a wet, the Dirty Harry is all wet fly except for the wing - just depends on the effect you want.

12-16-2002, 07:24 PM
one of a number of Dirty Harry victims:

12-16-2002, 07:39 PM
Interesting patterns, guess you can't argue with success.

I imagine they look preety sweet in the water. Thanks for sharing

12-16-2002, 07:48 PM
They are substantially different in the water, slimming way down. The first one took the chinook in my avatar.

These two pictures were prototypes and the ones I tie now tend to use more marabou and a bit less flash. Browns, steelies and chinook love the Lil' Sucker. I tied up two of them and in the first five minutes on Penns, I hooked a big brown and lost it and the fly. In the first two minutes on the Saugeen, it took that chinook but it messed up the hook. On the Salmon River, NY, in desperation (I was doing an o'fer), I worked on the hook and within a few casts had a JATO equipped steelie that I lost when the &^%$& knot came undone.

I tied up the Dirty Harry as a large, dirty water fly but it seems to work on the Grand in clear conditions as well.

12-16-2002, 09:05 PM
Look good.

I get it now white smelt/alewife patterns, with some flash.

How far are you fishing those patterns in the river from the lake ?

PM Out

12-16-2002, 09:30 PM
The DH looks like a great surf fly. Would also love to try it in a certain UP river that borders the US and Canada. That bloody river is full of Smelt.

12-17-2002, 03:27 AM
Here's the Dirty Harry, the original Weamer. It's the one that's done the most damage so far. The Credit is often high and dirty so I tied this one to push a lot of water and create a large, solid profile. There's a big, purple dubbin ball just behind the marabou. When it's swung, the marabou forms a tear-drop shape and the widest section can be almost a 1/2" across.

The alewife pattern was tied with the Niagara River in mind as well as the surf or pike. I still haven't come up with a name for it yet.

12-17-2002, 05:58 AM
Very nice, for some reason that bloody purple is a real fish mover.

Have very rarely seen that color fail.

12-22-2002, 09:10 AM

Check out Winter issue of Fly fishing Tying Journal - Winter issue on mag stands now.

M. Supinski article on trophy GLs steelhead and six of his best patterns. Taught me a few new things to keep in mind.

FYI, it took him 33 years to land a 20 LB GL steelhead so what is our probablity ?

Better odds probably to win the lotto, Lipripper advise your brother of that. You sure he won't buy my lotto tickets for me ?

PM Out

12-22-2002, 10:06 AM
Don't forget he fishes(and has fished more than most). It also helps having a river in your back yard.

Really suprised you never touched a 20 during the glory Skam runs of the early 80's. Saw a ton of huge Tunas comme off Mich. City pier. Lots of high teens and a goodly number touching 20# mark. We used to carry a scale with us and weighed as guys would allow.

12-22-2002, 10:24 AM

Early 80s lost a few big ones there, but was not into the spinning spoon chucking from the pier and bait, was fly fishing north in Michigan where there were very few skamanias in the rivers. Fly fisher first, big steelhead are a lesser objective unless I can get them on the fly I am not really interested.

Oh well its not over yet, still in the hunt as they say. "never give up".

PM Out

12-22-2002, 12:36 PM
I landed an 18#er from Salt Creek on a PM wiggler in 1985. No lie,
I also think the current Ind. record was caught from Trail at johnson road on a fly. it was either the current one or the one before it.

12-22-2002, 05:35 PM
I beleive you but you must have had 20 LB test leader, 9/10 weight rod, no log jams, and lots of mosquito repellant, a buddy to help you and luck.

PM Out

12-22-2002, 08:10 PM
Actually was using 4# trilene xt leader on a noodle rod and a Martin 72 reel. This was about my 16th hook up of the day. Both skill and luck were on my side. Think of the big pool at I.G. way before it changed.