Tackle Bag

I've always said if you're worrying about your gear, you have the wrong gear. Here in the Tackle Bag I'll review some of the equipment I use that I have found adds to my experience on the water. If you need more information on a particular piece of gear, please call me at the shop. You can also sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the page to get notices about new Tackle Bag posts.

The Double Take

Joel La Follette - Thursday, January 25, 2018

Double Take by Peter Donahower

Hook: Alec Jackson Heavy Wire Spey Hook, Bronze or Silver size 3
Thread: Uni 8/0 purple
Tag: 3 colors UTC 140 thread- Chartreuse, Peacock Blue, Purple
Mid wing: 3 colors UTC 140 Thread-Purple over, Peacock Blue, over chartreuse
Rib: UTC Wire, Brassie, Hot Yellow
Body: Purple STS Trilobal Dub
Hackle:Purple Pheasant Rump
Collar: Silver Doctor Blue or Kingfisher Blue Guinea
Wing: Fluorescent Blue Badger or Fin Raccoon

Tying instructions:
Tag should start at the point of the hook
Tag should should half the length of the fly, tag and body should be equal lengths.Tag should be split into three equal parts.
The midwing is three loops of each 140, cut in unison 45* at the bend
Mid wing should extend to the barb
Wing should extend to just beyond the bend of the hook.

Starting with the chartreuse UTC 140 tie in the badger wing facing forward. The wing should start forward of the middle of the shank so as not to disturb the floss butt. 
At the same time tie in the rib. Tie the chartreuse thread all the way back to the hook point and then forward to the halfway point of the body and loop the thread around your finger three times to create the mid wing, then tie down with the peacock blue thread. Wrap the peacock blue thread 2/3 of the way back and then forward to the mid wing. Loop the blue around your finger three times and tie off with the purple. Repeat the step with purple. For dubbing the body split the purple thread and dub forward. Wrap rib forward then tie off with 8/0 uni. Cut the mid wing in unison at a 45 from the bend of the hook. Cut the mid wing after wrapping the rib, but before wrapping the hackle. Wrap purple pheasant hackle and the. Blue Guinea collar. Fold wing back form head and whip finish.. 

The back story from Peter...

"One fine morning a couple years ago, Tracy opened her flybox to switch things up at the top of Steelie Flats after losing her first Deschutes steelhead in the tailout thirty minutes before. She selected this random chartreuse-blue-purple fly that resonated with her somehow. A few casts later, she was fast into the second Deschutes steelhead of her life, and the fly earned the title “Double Take”. This was a much larger fish and she fought it like a champ. Her natural athletic ability brought the burly, wild fish to within a rods length. As it rolled on the surface, I saw that the tail was wider than the length of my hand. Truly this was a magnificent, gravel-born Deschutes steelhead. Then one shake of the head and it was gone. It was a poignant moment for us. There were hugs and a few tears. 

Tracy and I work so hard for the recovery and conservation of these increasingly rare wild, native animals that reside in the realm of the unseen. We have a passionate affinity for them and pursue every opportunity to interact with their world, whether wading a river to swing a fly, or engage in a spawning survey. It is a blessed event, a nearly scared act. What heartbreak to lose the connection moments before bringing a fish to hand, to feel the pulse of life before releasing it to slide back into the unseen."

The Provider

Joel La Follette - Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rob Crandall’s Provider by Nick Wheeler

When you need a steelhead pattern to get deep quickly this fly provides. On its first creation this pattern was a secret weapon for a few of Rob’s clients catching many steelhead the first few day it was introduced. Now in Rob’s main roster this fly keeps providing anglers the success it started with. This fly can be used year round, but excels when used in deeper slots.


Shank: OPST Steelhead Shank 32mm
Wire: Senyo’s Intruder Wire
Hook: #2 Gamakatsu Octopus
Eyes: Medium Painted Lead Eyes, White
Butt: Blue Ice Dub
Rear Hackle: Blue Guinea
Rear Wing: Blue Ostrich Hurl
Body: Medium Krystal Hackle Black
Front Hackle: Red Guinea
Front Wing: Black Ostrich and Blue Barred Ostrich
Flash: Flashabou, Opal, Purple, and Blue

Start by attaching the intruder wire and lead eyes to the shank.

At the butt of the fly make a dubbing ball out of the Ice Dub which will help flare the Guinea hackle.

Place a stack (15-20 pieces) of blue ostrich along the top of the shank slightly flared across the Guinea.

Attach Krystal Hackle and wrap up the body of the fly for about 1/2 inch.

Put a few turns of red guinea in front of the Krystal Hackle.

Place a stack (10ish pieces) of black ostrich on top of shank followed by another stack of blue barred ostrich (10ish pieces)

Attach a few pieces of each color of flash to the top of the wing.

Whip finish, glue and it’s ready to fish.

Tying the Silvenator

Joel La Follette - Thursday, January 11, 2018

No fly strikes fear in the hearts of Steelhead like the Silvenator. Simple, but deadly is it's claim to fame. The perfect pattern to chase mid-day summer fish or chilly winter Chromers.

Created by our good friend, Brian Silvey, the Silvenator has become a standard found in many fly boxes across the Northwest. Available in several popular colors, the Silvenator is the perfect pattern for the beginning Steelhead fly tyer.

Plastic tube with junction tube
1/4 Bead (Gold, Pink or Blue depending on the color of the fly)
Straight cut rabbit strip
Dubbing to match

Start with a plastic tube cut 3/4 inches long and place it in your vice on a tube fly needle or mandrel.

Lay down a layer of thread and tye in a short strip of straight cut rabbit about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long.

Hackle with marabou, then tye in a few strands of flashabou. Add another wrap of marabou.

Add a few ostrich herls to a dubbing loop and wrap in front of the marabou.

Slide a 1/4 bead over the tube and melt tube to hold in place.

Finish with dubbing behind the tube in complementing color.

Slide junction tube over the back of the tube and add your hook of choice.

Now, take it out for a swim….


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