Saltwater Clouser: Steve Farrar’s Blend delivers Rock-solid Quality

I have been tying a ton of fun saltwater flies lately, fishing them all, from Deceivers to SeaDucers, to clousers, to Toad-like flies, and Crab-like flies, and Squid like flies, and some worked well and some required tuning but the work with materials heretofore foreign to me was at first daunting then fun as all get out and VERY CHALLENGING.  Surely there are plenty of Pacific anglers tying up a fly storm but they are pretty quiet on YouTube, where it is Striper, and False Albacore, and Pike, and Musky, and of course Tarpoooooon fly country and Snook and Redfish and Bass and anyway my intention was to tie and fish and tie and fish and so on to see what our Oceanic species here off Oregon would eat and what if anything they would reject and …….

Expect many videos to follow but probably not for months to come so now for just a quick fly that fishes very well in different sizes and uses a new-to-me material: Steve Farrar’s Blend.

I have fished Clousers tied with Steve Farrar’s Blend in various sizes and colors, all of which will be disclosed and analyzed to the point of nausea, because if the TARPON TOAD deserves 156 YouTube videos, surely our inconspicous Oregon Saltwater flies should receive similar exposure, huh?

My Clousers have typically been constructed with bucktail, and several alternate materials I have tried in the past left me less than enthused.  Note here that just because I like a material or do not like a given material does not mean that my opinion is the only word on the subject.  It clearly ain’t.

I was instantly drawn to the Steve Farrar’s Blend for several reasons, including the fact that it consists of fibers that are somewhat resistant to becoming pierced by a hook point, and in my mind that equates to less hook fouling.  The stiffness factor of the material is close to bucktail but a little more pliable, meaning more wiggle and flow; and several of the SF Blend colors are actually a blend (hummmmm) of different color fibers with flash incorporated in the blend already.

The SF Blend colors are amazing, the textures are intriguing, and I have worked with at least a dozen of the various colors.  I will note here that different colors at times will have different textures, and some are easier to work with then others.  Same goes with natural bucktails too, so nothing new here, just surprised me that synthetics of the same brand would vary so much.  Steve Farrar markets several other synthetic winging materials too, much like the EP line but with some differences that are worth exploring (and I will have more on those at a later date also).

Bottom line on Steve Farrar’s Blend? I like it.  I like it a lot.  So much so that it has become a go-to for many of my Saltwater Clousers, and ditto for a series of Saltwater Deceiver style flies I have been tying and fishing for salmon and bottomfish.

These two Saltwater Clousers both use the same hooks and materials, one tied on #1/0, the other on #2/0 Gamakatsu hooks.  Here is the recipe, you can figure out the size for yourself. Please pass on the Kevlar thread; in my opinion it is NOT needed; I use 140 D Ultra Thread or Mono thread.  And no epoxy either, I use Clear Cure Goo in Thin, Tack Free, or Hydro to lock it all down.  These materials will take a tremendous pounding; when bucktail would normally have been ripped to shreds and stuck in fish teeth, this Steve Farrar material still has what it takes to keep on flowing and shining  and drawing fish.

Hook:  Gamakatsu Big Game SL12S or similar

Thread: 140 D White Ultra Thread

Alternate Thread: Danville’s .006 fine mono

Eyes: large painted lead or XL chrome plated eyes

Wing: from bottom to top when hook is inverted as it swims with lead eyes on underside of fly:

Steve Farrar’s Blend in White, Electric Yellow, Bleeding Red, and Herring Back Blue

Flash: Lateral Scale#1733

Accent in middle of wing: Fluoro Fiber in Fluoro Pink – this whispy material really shows up in the water and you do not need much at all, really sparse is best and spread out to not clump together if you can manage.

You may note that the white is tied in by the butts as per usual and tied behind the eyes.  The other wing is tied facing forward then pulled back to secure the wing in the proper position.  This leaves a bump where the material is doubled over and I do not try to cover that up with thread.  The clear Cure Goo will make the mono transparent which is sort of cool and it forms an extremely durable head very quickly.

Also note when lashing in the upper wing facing forward put the blue on the bottom so it is on top when you reverse it to lash it down and finish the fly.

Hope you get a chance to tie and fish this fly, it produces and produces and produces.  As do all of my flies, naturally, ha ha.

Jay Nicholas,  August 2013

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2 Responses to Saltwater Clouser: Steve Farrar’s Blend delivers Rock-solid Quality

  1. Matt says:

    Very cool tie! I have been thinking about using this material for clousers recently. What fish are you primarily fishing for with this pattern? Have you tested it on salmon?

  2. Jim says:

    Hey Jay,

    I’m an old friend from the long lost Scarlet Ibis Fly Shop.

    I’ve been tying Flat Iron Herring, or Sardina, flies for a Baja trip in summer 2014. The flies are fairly large 3 to 3 1/2 inches on 1/0 and 4 1/2 to 5 inches on 3/0 tarpon hooks. The SF Blend seems perfect for this application. It builds “size” fairly quickly without being bulky. They look pretty realistic on the table and hold their shape well in the water. The material sheds water nicely so casting them is not inhibited by the extra water weight. Overall I’m very pleased. We’ll see what the Dorado and Roosters think after we show the flies to them this summer.

    All the best, Jim.

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