Jay Nicholas’ Fly of the Week #3 The Golden Demon

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This post is a continuation of an ongoing series of flies that I’ve selected to share in an eclectic order, throwing down a  disorganized variety of patterns that will include high lakes wet flies, Metolius Green Drake Spinners, albacore streamers, chinook scuds, large intruders, and …. who knows what sort of fly might strike me as fun to share. As usual, I will share the recipe, tying notes, and a fishing story or two for each fly. Let’s get into fly #3 now.

Golden Demon

Hook -Alec Jackson Steelhead Irons Gold #1-7
Thread – UTC or Danville’s 210 D bright yellow
Tail – Bright yellow saddle hackle barbules
Body – Lagartun Gold oval tinsel – Medium to wide
Hackle – Hot orange or bright yellow (tyer’s choice)
Wing – Fox Squirrel tail hair, to bend of hook

The Golden Demon is a fly that I tied season after season in large quantities for customers who have fished anywhere between the Klamath, Deschutes, John Day, Clearwater, Grand Ronde, North Umpqua, Rogue, and BC. Another reason to include this fly in my roster of must-tie-and fish is the fact that it so closely resembles the Comet, a fly that I fished successfully for both Chinook and Steelhead. The color combinations of this pattern are well known as attractive to anadromous fish. Another justification involves the -fact that I have heard so many stories from people who have fished my Golden Demons and caught steelhead that I would feel remiss to not include the pattern here.

He fished a Cortland (333 or 444) Type 3 or Type 6 sinking fly line, if I remember
correctly, and would hook steelhead on the short swing, on the hang, and on a slow up current retrieve. I’m sure that he fished this area in this manner in September or October after water temperatures had begun to decline, and always fished the full sinking line. Wayne described many days when he would hook and land several summer steelhead in this place, always  fishing the Golden Demon.

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Photo Caption. Vintage-style Golden Demon tied with sunrise yellow hackle, on Eagle Claw 1197-g.

Wayne would wade into the run at its head, stand in knee deep water, and cast both left and right, quartering just slightly downstream, where his fly would hang virtually straight below him in the heart of the run. Maybe that is why this Golden Demon produced so well for him on the Deschutes.

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Caption. Coastal Winter steelhead to the Golden Demon.

I’ve seen a lot of variety in the way different tyers represent the Golden Demon, but I’ve never seen this fly dressed with the brilliant yellow materials in the tail, throat, and head, presented on a brilliant gold hook. Wayne’s presentation of a widely varied fly readily distinguishes his dressing from flies that use a less vivid materials like Golden Peasant Crest for the tail, an orange hackle, and either black or orange thread for the head.

I have held Wayne’s fly in my hand alongside several of the alternate dressings, and my eye was always drawn to the sparkle of yellow highlights on his pattern.

I hope you have found entertainment or education in this.

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