As a follow up to last month's time consuming yet incredibly shrimpy Prawn Solo pattern, I thought I'd share a very straight forward, efficient and very effective everyday steelhead pattern that fills a box in my arsenal. The Simple Sucka is your typical egg-sucking variety of fly and covers a number of bases that I feel are important in a steelhead fly you can fish with confidence. It has ample movement, color contrast, is pretty easy to construct and inexpensive to tie.
I especially like this style of fly in waters like the NF Nooksack, Sol Duc, Calawah, Vedder above the crossing and any river where you'd tend to be fishing short, bouldery slots. The fly drops quickly in the water column and will ride hook point up so is fairly snag proof. While this style of fly is nothing radically new, pay close attention to the way it's tied. The trailing hook assembly allows easy replacement of a dull or damaged hook while still remaining secured to the end of the rabbit strip where it belongs. Tying the head off behind the eyes also makes for a bombproof head that will stand up to some abuse among the river rocks. The Simple Sucka catches the heck out of bull trout in our local rivers as well, especially in a white version with a fluorescent orange head.
Simple Sucka Recipe:
Thread: 140 Denier Ultra Thread to match egg head
Shank: #4 Daiichi 2546 or Mustad 34007 stainless hook with bend cut off
Trailing Hook: #4 SSW Octopus
Trailing Connection: #50 Power Pro
Tail: Zonker Rabbit Strip
Flash: Pearlescent Flashabou or Krystal Flash
Eyes: Lead Eyes tied on opposite side of shank from rabbit tail
Head: Fine Chenille in Shell Pink, Fl. Red or Fl. Orange
Hackle: Webby Saddle or Schlappen to match tail
The Confluence Beer Pairing: Turn up the heat, break out the shorts (and Chacos if the carpet in your tying area is littered with with errant hooks like mine) and grab an icy cold and refreshing Kona Longboard Lager. It's what folks drink in Hawaii and other hot locales. Make believe for a moment that it's not 37 degrees and raining outside. Tie a few Simple Suckas before the bubble bursts. Now bundle up and go fish them.