The color profile of this tie is black/pink/grizzly.
Using either a shank or large up eye hook to be cut off after tying, mount hook in vise, add trailer hook and eyes, then a thin layer of mylar or pearl flash to extend slightly beyond the trailer hook.
Next build a short body of black cactus chenille and tie a slender rabbit strip in front of the body on top of shank that extends to near hook length, then wrap 3 turns of tip-tied-in-first pink marabou ahead of rabbit tie in point, drawing it rearward with each wrap.
Next apply 4 fibers of black ostrich plume to each side at 3 and 9 o clock. Spectacled sili-legs or centipede legs would work, so would larvae lace, even black peacock fibers. For durability on this fly I think I’ll go to the synthetics tied sparsely.
Select a pair of stubby grizzly hen hackles and tie them in at the same locations, allowing the natural curve to flare the fins outward. The original recipe from Ken Morrish used two sets of hackles, one pair of thin hackles laid alongside tight to the body, and a second set of short stubbies flaring out like pectoral fins. Too fancy for me.
The thick and bulbous head is formed by dubbing black magnum length cut rabbit strip (not cross cut) behind, over, and in front of the eyes. That’s the hardest part of the whole procedure for me. I used my bobbin support arm to hold the loop while I loaded it and removed the rabbit leather. I think arctic fox would work fine too. Apply some stick-on eyes and head cement. You’re done.
I had to tie about a half dozen to get this sample good enough to display, but to be honest, anything a tier could cobble together would likely fish just fine. I could exist on a half-dozen intruder style patterns and another half-dozen finesse patterns just fine, and probably should simplify accordingly. When I tied my first one several years ago it was leave-it-on-a-log ugly, but the two I carried in my box both caught multiple fish before being lost to the rocks. This is a pattern that can be fished with complete confidence, especially in colored water. It swims like a baby alligator.
Come to Papa, Essential, and Orange Crush are three of my favorite original intruders, the Clearwater Caddis leads the small fly pack.
(Gregs Clearwater Caddis is one of my all time favorite Steelhead patterns…Tim)
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