Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fly Fishing with Split-Wing Flies

Juicy Bug
The Juicy Bug was created in the late 19th century 
by Russ Towers of the Empire City (now known as 
Coos Bay) and his fishing partner Ben Chandler. 
The original split-wing steelhead flies were developed on the Rogue River in Oregon to fish for steelhead and salmon in the early 1950's. They were tied on small hooks--Nos. 8 to 10--with the wing pointed toward the rear of the fly. The flies produced a lot of action as they skittered, twitched or waked across the surface. Double hooks were commonly used with the belief that they were needed to land a large fish. Today, however, larger single hooks--Nos. 6 and 4--are primarily used. 

October Caddis    
The October Caddis was devloped by Bill Bakke,
a conservation director of Oregon Trout and avid fly fisher. 

The wings of waking or skating patterns are pointed forward and can entice fish to come to the surface. Strikes are usually very aggressive. As the fly swings across the surface, it creates a noticeable disturbance that alerts fish to a possible source of food. This is called the "wet fly swing" or the "grease line method." This method was developed in Europe years ago and refers to greasing or waterproofing silk fly lines to help them float.  

The "broadside method" is eerily exciting. The fly is presented in the same manner as the split wing and waking patterns, but a curve in the fly line is allowed to occur. As the fly swings, a noticeable wake follows the fly which alerts holding fish. However, instead of the explosive strikes that the other methods produce, steelhead simply suck the fly in like it is taking a dry fly. 

I can remember using these methods and steelhead would chase my split-wing fly 7 to 8 times across the surface without hooking up. The excitement of a steelhead repeatedly boiling in an attempt to take your offering can really tense your muscles. Don’t worry about it! Just bow to the fish, set the hook and enjoy the action. 

Materials for tying the Juicy Bug:
Hook:  Mustad 3582, size 4-6  
Thread:  black 3/0
Tail:  Red hackle fibers
Body:  Black and red chenille
Ribbing:  Silver oval tinsel
Wing:  White calftail

Materials for tying the October Caddis:
Hook:  Mustad 36890, size 2-6   
Thread:  Black 3/0  
Tail:  Deer hair  
Body:  Orange yarn 
Hackle:  Brown         
Wing:  Deer hair                   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please read our terms of use policy