Bruce Berry shares his Lime and Tequila... pass the salt.
I love tying flies, all types and all kinds of flies, but I really like creating flies that I feel work for specific times of year, water types, etc.! I work in the fly-fishing industry and have for a decade and a half and still have a hard time not walking around shops fly bins and pouring over the different types of flies that shops offer. That said, the inspiration for creating flies comes from a multitude of sources. Some people go to the streams and collect bug samples, preserve them and tie to mimic what the fish are eating. Some view a hook or a tube as a blank canvas to create whatever materials/color combinations the fly tyer desires and often the inspiration comes from previously known fly patterns with a twist that makes it unique.
The inspiration for my Lime & Tequila is a hybrid between a Steelhead Coachman and Green Butt Skunk. The Steelhead Coachman is a Peacock bodied Hair Wing Steelhead fly. I love Peacock on flies!!! I think most fisherman love flies tied with Peacock from nymphs to dry flies for Trout, to bodies, wings or hackles on Steelhead flies to Peacock Swords over the top of baitfish flies for Rooster Fish and Dorado in Saltwater. Peacock catches fish and fly-fisherman know that well! The Green Butt Skunk is a fly that stands the test of time for Steelhead fisherman and is still a go-to fly in today’s Steelhead fly-fishing world. Tie a Green Butt Skunk traditional, dubbed, low-water style, hackle-tip winged or whatever…there is probably 101 variations on the Green Butt Skunk that any Steelhead fisherman would gladly accept and fish confidently. But…and this is a big BUT…I tied way too many Green Butt Skunks commercially with Chenille bodies, Calf Tail for the wing and tied them on the old Mustad 36890 hooks. Hundreds of dozens if not thousands to the point where I have a hard time tying, looking at or fishing a Green Butt Skunk. I know the fly works and works well, just can’t stomach the countless hours I spent cranking those out and staring at the color combo. Those of you who had to pick Strawberries as a summer job in grade/middle school and went to sleep seeing Strawberries, having bad dreams and knowing what you were doing early the next morning for the next 4-6 weeks know what I am talking about!
So, I like to fish dry lines late into the fall chasing Summer Steelhead. I believe adding the Golden Pheasant tippet tail and Green Butt on the back end of a Steelhead Coachman gives the fly better visibility to Steelhead in less than ideal water conditions and allows an angler to keep fishing a dry line coupled with a size #4, #6 or #8 hair winged Steelhead fly with confidence. This could be the White River spitting a little color into the lower Deschutes, a slide on the upper Klickitat that puts a deep Green color in the water all the way to the confluence with the Columbia or heavy rain on the Rogue that puts color in the water. All fishable conditions where you can work through runs with confidence, a dry line and you feel like you are in the game when you encounter a Steelhead that is ready to play!
Lime & Tequila has proven itself time and again and has earned a full-time spot in my fly box.
Lime & Tequila Materials List:
Hook: Daiichi 2131/2135 Bob Ververka #4, #6, #8
Thread: Danville 6/0 #7 Orange
Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippets
Butt: Danville Nylon Wool #504 Fl. Green
Body: 4-6 pieces of Peacock twisted into herl rope w/ thread
Wing: Kid Goat, Calf Tail, Polar Bear in White or wing material of choice
Flash: Krystal Flash Pearl, 2 strips each side of the wing
Hackle: Hen Saddle, Natural Brown