These two flies are the mainstay of my winter/spring fishing on the Skagit/Skykomish and summer/fall fishing on the Skeena/Thompson. I have recently converted them to tube flies and have noticrd no reduction in their fish appeal. As I tie both flies in an extensive range of sizes my flybox is now quite streamlined these and a few selected low water patterns are all you will find!
Both flies are tied from size 6-3/0 and when not on tubes I prefer Bartleet Supreme hooks. As tubes I tie them from 1 1/2" to 7" and use Tiemco 105 on the small ones and 800B #2 or 1/0
* though I call it black the fly really is purple, however, the dyed GP goes so dark in the water that the effect is black - hence the name.
- black hair (black bear) at least as as long as the shank
- a natural Golden Pheasant tippet, either a small one bunched on either side of the tail or a longer one with a small "V" cut out and layed along the bear hair
- next take 2 matched pecary hairs and tie them in so they "V" out (this can be tricky but I've found it easier on tubes due to the width)
- wide pearlescent mylar, counterwound with light coloured monocord for durability.
- purple dubbing, dub about 1/3 of the body then wrap 2 or 3 turns of tinsel and tie off (I do NOT bother to rib the body after the first wing)
- from a purple dyed golden pheasant skin find the marabou-like feathers along the flank. Tie in 2 or 3 of these to form a wing that should extend back past the tippets. In front of the wing wind a folded hackle feather (also selected from the flank of the GP skin - go for the nice shiny ones on top of the marabou).
- in front of the 1st wing dub more purple to cover the 2nd 1/3 of the shank. At this point build a 2nd wing like the 1st one. This wing should extend back and overlap the 1st wing giving the effect of a matuka wing. Finish this and the fly with another folded hackle. On larger versions I sometimes tie a 3rd wing and/or wrap an extra hackle at the rear of the body before the first dubbing.
THE RAGING PRAWN
I tie this essentially as I do the Black/purple version, though I seldom bother with low water versions.
- Mix a small clump of orange and red bucktail or suitable substitute.
- for this fly I always use the clipped tippet and extend it back 1- 1 1/2"
- same style except red dubbing
- I use wooley bugger marabou and each wing is a clump (usually 1-1 1/2" of the tip) of first true orange topped with a similar clump of hot orange.
- in front of this wrap a folded red-brown hackle feather from a natural golden pheasant skin.
- as with the Black fly finish with more dubbing a 2nd wing and hackle.
NOTE - When I want a fly the really DEMANDS a fish's attention I substitute a 3-4" rabbit strip as a tail and the rest as is - the black version I call "The Beast" and the orange one the "Raging Beast".
Tight lines - tyler.