By Ed Ward
The fly itself is tied on a size 2/0 Mustad 36890 salmon that has been straightened out and cut off. The trailer hook is a Daichii 2451—size 2 for steelhead that average under eight pounds, size 1 for those that run eight to 16 pounds. Sand smooth the part of the hook shank you have cut.
Tie in a loop of 25-pound-test monofilament a quarter-inch up from the end of the shank. Tie in oval gold tinsel and take two wraps in back of the mono loop, one wrap in front.
Tie in a long, soft, black hackle and take three wraps.
Tie in nine strands of dyed-orange ostrich plume, on each side of hook shank. Tie in dyed-orange ringneck pheasant tail and take three of four turns.
Tie in a long, skinny badger hackle and leave hanging. Tie in burnt-orange chenille and wrap forward tightly to within a half-inch of eye of the hook. Wind the badger hackle forward through chenille, ending with three successive turns at thee point where the chenille terminates. Spin a small clump of black deer hair and trim butts flush with the shank. Tie in orange ringneck pheasant tail and take three or four turns.
Tie in two cree hackles on each side of the shank for “wings”. Tie in dyed-orange winea hackle and take four or five turns.
Tie in a small ball of black chenille. Tie in lead eyes. Whip finish. Cover head with Aquaseal thinned with Cotol.
Tying Note 1:
Ringneck pheasant tails are split down the stem with a single-edge razor, do they can be wrapped as a hackle. Soaking the tail for 10 minutes in warm water can aid in the splitting-and-wrapping process.
Tying Note 2:
Other species of pheasant produce differing appearances; Amherst is particularly striking.
Rigging the Intruder:
Pass your leader through the eye of the hook, then through the monofilament loop, then through a quarter-inch-long piece of 16-gauge electrical wire from which the wire core has been removed. Tie the leader to the trailer hook with Lefty Kreh’s nonslip loop knot. Push the electrical insulation up onto the end of the hook shank and pull slowly on the leader to draw the knot snugly into the other end of the insulation, making sure that everything pulls together with the hook point riding up.
Ed prefers to tie the Intruder on straightened Mustad hook shanks. He shared with us that, for the innovative anadromous tier, the pattern can also be tied on tubes or Waddington shanks; this would eliminate the need for his clever monofilament loop, which you’ll learn about in this edition of Inside The Ultimate Fly Box. One more thought Ed asked us to share with you: Please do not tie the Intruder on single hooks larger than size 1/0. Single hooks larger than this, he reminds us can be harmful to wild steelhead, every one of which should be released alive and unharmed.