Pink is as tried and true a color combo for winter steelhead as any. Various shades of pink shine like a beacon in the cold clear flows of low winter water. This shade also glows like an ember in the smoky green, glacially tinted currents as the river drops into shape from a high water event. It's versatile, and versatility is a good friend to have in the winter steelhead game. The Flamingo Kid gets its name from both the predominant color scheme, which of course looks like a Flamingo, and then there's the 1984 movie of the same name, starring Matt Dillon. I'm not sure if Matt Dillon swings flies for steelhead. A quick Google image search suggested that he does not. Nonetheless, his no-nonsense, resilient, slightly stoic Hollywood image suggests the makings of a fine steelheader and thus you should fish this one with confidence.
Composite loops are all the rage these days in tying flies for anadromous fishes. They're quite fun to make and with the myriad of new synthetic materials available these days, there's virtually no limit to what you can do with them. While the Flamingo Kid gets a lot of play in my box, try combos of blue/black, purple/orange and black/purple for a change up. They all have their place. If you want to see more composite loop making in practice, be sure to join us for our December tying night at Brandywine Kitchen as we're sure to be whipping up the Flamingo Kid and others like it.
The Flamingo Kid Recipe:
Thread: 140 Denier Fl Pink Ultra Thread
Shank: 20 mm OPST Intruder Shank
Tailing Hook: #4 Owner SSW
Trailer material: #30 Fireline or Intruder Wire
Eyes: X-small Lead Eyes
Rear body: Fl Orange Diamond Braid
Composite Loop: UV Pink Ice Dub, Pearl Baitfish Emulator, Pink Arctic Fox
Collar: Shell Pink Marabou
Legs: Shrimp Pink Grizzly Flutter Legs
Second collar: Fl Pink Schlappen
The Confluence Beer Pairing: Kulshan Brewing's Kitten Mittens is back for it's third play as our beer of the month. It's frequently the one we reach for when we set to work at the vise on a winter steelhead fly. It's what's in the cooler at the end of a frightfully cold December day on a local river. It is all that is warming and wholesome in a pretty little can in the dead of winter.