Teddys Tackle Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Supply
Ratsblack 7/6/2014

Hook size - #4, 2, and 1 (#2 best all round for steelhead) I use Tiemco #7999

  • Thread - Danville flat nylon, black
  • Tail - long black marabou; 6-8 strands of black Krystal Flash
  • Saddle - red/rust flank feather form golden pheasant skin
  • Body - Large black ice chenille; black saddle hackle; .025 wire body wrap
  • Wing - 6-8 strands of black Krystal flash
  • Head - 3/16” nickel cyclops bead (not tungsten or lead) 

Head - press the barb down on the hook and slip the nickel bead up hard over/against the eye of the hook.  Dress hook body with thread.

  1. Tail - tie in Krystal Flash - extend about 1 1/2” past hook bend.  Tie black marabou over top, about same length as Krystal Flash.  Don’t skimp on the marabou - make it a long, heavy tail.

  2. Saddle - these are important to the fly.  Take the rust-red feathers from the flank of a Golden Pheasant, strip the feather except for about 1/2 to 3/4” from the tip end.  Tie one on each side of the marabou tail, covering the sides of the tail for about 1/2” or more.

  3. Body - I generally tie this fly in at least two weights, using .025 lead wire.  Start ahead of the tail and wrap 10 turns of wire for the lighter fly, and 15 turns for the heavier fly.  Over wrap this with thread to immobilise the lead.  Run the thread back to the tail and tie in the tip of a soft saddle hackle.  Tie in the end of the large black ice chenille, and wind it forward to the bead, and tie it off.  Palmer the hackle forward over the chenille and tie off behind the bead. 

  4. Tie in the wing - Overall length of finished fly, from tip of marabou to eye of hook, should be about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4”
    Critical to this pattern is the rust pheasant flank feather.

The two versions of the fly should weigh about 14 and 18 grams respectively.  I use the heavier in high water or in deeper runs.  While not as nice to cast as an unweighted fly, both handle well on my Sage RPLX 8 weight.  They also catch fish well.  I have taken Chinook, coho, chum and pink salmon; steelhead, rainbow, cut-throat, and dolly varden; and even an 80 pound tarpon on a bigger size, unweighted.  It seems to have pretty universal appeal.

- Bill Ratcliff