This fly is the Mack’s Canyon and it isn’t. Does this Nicholas’ Steelhead Simplicity adaptation of the Mack’s Canyon catch fish? Yup. Does it perform any better then the original? Sometimes. At least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. You will have to decide for yourself. The original pattern has a white and orange hackle tail, exhibits a substantial profile, and has an orange and white-topped calf tail wing. While the original Mack’s Canyon is a winner, this variation will bring a solid eat at times when the original fly might only get a little tug or boil, but no solid grab.
Our friend Doug Stewart conceived this fly on one of his jaunts down the Lower Deschutes during the early 1970s. I have had the pleasure of camping, storytelling, and fishing with Doug and his son Dave on the Deschutes. They always, always gave me and my buddy Steve the best camp water to fish. Doug and Dave are friends, great fly tyers, and astute fly fishers. This fly is sometimes referred to as the Max Canyon, and anyone should fish it with confidence wherever summer steelhead roam.
Materials used In Nicholas’ Mack’s Canyon summer steelhead fly:
Hook: TMC 7999 #6
Tail: Hot Orange Calf tail
Butt: Fl Orange Uni Yarn
Rib: Lagartun small oval silver tinsel
Body: STS Trilobal Dubbin, black (make it short and juicy)
Collar Hackle: Whiting Hen Cape, natural black, short
Topping: Hot Orange Krystal Flash, two-4 strands only
Wing: Moose body, short, sparse
Speaking of the Lower Deschutes Ben O’Dwyer and Micah Peirce just got off a trip down the Deschutes. Fishing was great for both trout and Steelhead, as long as the weather holds up, fishing late October and November will hold up well.