Steelhead Fly of the week – Winter’s Hope - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:03 AM
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Steelhead Fly of the week – Winter’s Hope

The Originator of this fly is Bill McMillan of Washougal Washington. He developed the fly in 1969 and 1970 and it has since become one of the better-known steelhead flies in existence. The fly is usually tied on a large hook and is designed to agitate and aggravate steelhead into striking. In recent years this fly has been becoming popular on the Gaspe peninsula for Atlantic Salmon.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook.
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Collar: Blue hackle with purple hackle in front.
Wing: Two yellow hackle tips back to back between two orange hackle tips.
Topping: Golden-olive calf tail (sometimes a golden pheasant crest is substituted).
Head: Claret
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2006, 01:28 PM
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Gorgeous McMillan fly...

but you said the "W" WORD!!!!

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:53 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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McMillan often tied these on very large sized hooks up to 5/0. From what I gather it was mainly to quickly get the fly deep using his dry line method on a long clear leader without adding extra weight. I tied some up on a copper tube with a #4 hook though Charlie, they didn't come out nearly as pretty as yours. My hope (no pun intended) was to get around the large, damage prone, hook. I tried them a few times with no luck so far.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:42 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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McMillan no longer lives on the Washougal. He moved north in 1997 and now lives on the banks of one of the "S" rivers. He still ties the fly on very large, heavy iron loop-eye salmon hooks for winter steelhead and still fishes it with a floating line and long leader, although now he will most likely be found fishing with a 2-hander.

It remains a very good winter steelhead fly here in the PNW, and it is just as effective when tied on more normal hooks of #2/0-#4 hooks.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:09 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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McMillan used the general color scheme of the silver doctor to come up with this pattern. I find it interesting that he would choose this classic atlantic salmon fly as a starting point. There was some discussion in his book on the rationale for the colors of the fly. But to me its curious because I've never seen any other reference to the silver doctor as being a fly for steelhead.
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:59 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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I believe if you read some of the old stuff on steelhead fly fishing by Bergman and Zane Grey you will find mention of the Silver Doctor.

Blue is still a very underated color for PNW steelhead. It seems that most folks use orange, red, and purple; but neglecting blue is a mistake, especially in the summer/fall.
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:42 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flytyer
I believe if you read some of the old stuff on steelhead fly fishing by Bergman and Zane Grey you will find mention of the Silver Doctor.

Blue is still a very underated color for PNW steelhead. It seems that most folks use orange, red, and purple; but neglecting blue is a mistake, especially in the summer/fall.
flytyer,

Thanks for the added info. It possibly helps explain McMillan's color choice.
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