First thing I’d like to do is thank folks for your encouragement on our recent post on composite dubbing loops. Second thing is to note that I had a nice conversation with Ben Paull of OPST and thanked him for the great YouTube videos produced by him and his mates, especially Jerry French. Many of us who are tying Intruder style flies and fishing using Skagit style casts owe these fellows a debt of gratitude for paving the path many of us take for granted now.
Composite loops have always been a mixed bag for me—Jerry French’s vast experience has ben an inspiration as well as a huge help—I’m still far from catching up to his skill level and probably never will. What’s most important is for each of us to learn fun and useful new techniques, and this is precisely why I’m creating these posts—to inspire others like me who are struggling with composite loops.
What I’m about to do is lay out the process of tying a steelhead fly that will fish for winter and summer fish, using a single composite dubbing loop—starting with the recipe.
Wire: OPST Trailer wire
Hook: #4 Gammie or OPST Swing Hook
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil eyes – small
Thread: Danville’s 210 D white
Wing: navy blue rabbit strip
Trigger point dubbing: STS Dub Fl. Pink and Ice Dub UV Purple
Substrate: UV Ice Dub Lavender
Motion first stage: Senyo’s Barred Predator Wrap(trim to 1.5 inch)
Flash accent: Ice Dub Steelie blue
Motion second stage: OPST Barred Ostrich Drab (trim to 2.0 inch)
Scrim topping: Ice Dub UV Purple
I hope these step by step photos help. These flies swim nicely and wiggle enticingly. The steelhead approve too; I’ve hooked two fish on this fly so far (three days on the water) but have yet to bring one close for a photo.
This is a modest sized fly tied on a very short shank, and I will next tie a larger Intruder style fly on a longer shank. Can these composite loops be used on tubes? You bet they can. More to follow, and thanks for your interest, support, and patience.
Jay Nicholas January 2016