Tying great salmon and steelhead flies can be an intimidating feat, especially when you look at the array of steelhead patterns available in shops and online. But if you have a favorite pattern in mind, don’t let the flashy final cut get you down. You can tie even famous tyer’s flies with the right amount of practice and the right products.
One of our shop employees, Justin Helm, does just that.
Justin is a spey fisherman, so his favorite patterns to tie are streamers. Salmon and stealhead patterns are his jam, bread and butter, so he brings in some cool patterns every week or so to show off–and rightly so. Here is his latest arsenal of flies, an interpretation of professional tyer Jerry French’s Dirty Hoh:
These flies were tied with a few simple materials:
Shank: 32mm OPST Steelhead Shank
Hook: OPST Swing Hook size 2
2nd Composite Loop: Ice Dub, Ostrich, Shimmer Fringe
Three of the main materials Justin used are below, referenced in both photos and informative videos. Check them out!
Another cool product to tie into streamers is the new Faux Bucktail from Fish Skull.
This synthetic fiber is krinkled just like natural bucktail and dyed so that it will not fade with extended use in your favorite tie on the water. It is 6″ long, so you have twice as much usable fiber than the natural bucktail offers and because the fibers are not hollow like its natural counterpart, flies tied with Faux Norther Bucktail will give you a faster sink. It can be used to tie everything from clousers and nymphs, to poppers and streamers.
The best way to learn how to tie your favorite patterns is to go for it! Find a video of someone tying that fly on your favorite fly shop’s youtube channel like caddisflyshop, or in a blog post at www.oregonflyfishingblog.com, and practice with the pro. Then, once you get the hang of that tie, you can move on to another, and another, and pretty soon you’re putting your own spin–be it color combinations or a few more eyes or legs–on those famous fly recipes. Follow your passion, and you may even be catching that next steelhead on your own personal fly pattern.