Jeff Hickman’s Fish Taco fly pattern has long held a special place in my winter steelhead box. It’s pretty quick and simple to tie, a fishing or guide fly that looks attractive in the water, has proven fish appeal and doesn’t break your heart when it clings to an unforeseen sunken branch and won’t let go. With the wealth of new synthetic materials like Predator Wrap, Ice Dub and Barred Flashabou available to today’s tiers, I wanted to create something with a similar profile to the Taco but with virtually indestructible materials that don’t absorb a lot of water. Ostrich is a fantastic material but can get brittle in the cold or torn up after multiple fish. The Fake Taco, whose name is equally inspired by the 2017 buzz phrase “fake news”, is incredibly durable, fairly easy to tie and swims with the best of them in the soft inside seams and slow tailouts that winter steelhead often favor during the cold months. You can mix and match the colors on this one according to your fancy, with the featured iteration in the video being one of my favorites.

The Fake Taco
Thread: Black 140 Denier Ultra Thread
Shank: 45mm OPST Intruder Shank
Trailer Wire: Blue Senyo’s Intruder Wire
Trailing Hook: #3 OPST Swing Hook
Butt: Senyo’s Fusion Dub Pink Lady
Rib: Medium Silver Oval Tinsel
Body: Kingfisher Blue Ice Dub
Body Hackle: Kingfisher Blue Grizzly
Composite Hackle: UV Purple Ice Dub, Black Baitfish Emulator Flash, Blue Barred Predator Wrap, Blue Grizzly Flashabou, Steelie Blue Ice Dub
Lateral Flash: Purple Krinkle Mirror Flash
Collar: Black Schlappen
Eyes: Purple Flame Real Fake Jungle Cock

The Confluence Beer Pairing
: Chuckanut Brewery’s current tap line up features a Sticke Alt (Secret Alt) Bier that is out of this world. Try something new to usher in the New Year and compliment your bold journey in tying the Fake Taco. You won’t be disappointed on either front.

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