January Fly of the Month:  Zen Arcade Tube Fly

January Fly of the Month: Zen Arcade Tube Fly

Since my first exposure to tube flies many years ago, I've kindled an intense intrigue for the many exciting possibilities they represent in the world of fly design. The Pro Sport Fisher Tube system has so many nifty components, colors and options to play with that I'm reminded of the endless hours I spent as a kid with Legos sprawled across the living room floor, building this and that, letting creativity take the reigns.

In 1984, Husker Du released their influential double album, Zen Arcade, featuring "Pink is Turned to Blue", a song I've always liked but thought might be a bit long as a fly name. The album title itself has a far better ring to it for this modest sized pink and blue marabou pattern. The flexiweight adds just enough weight to break the surface tension and sink this pattern, but doesn't drag it deep into the rocks. It fishes great around 3-5' deep, moderate flowing flats on the river off a type 3 or 4 sink tip. The soft sonic disc really props the ostrich and marabou hackle on the the Zen Arcade and keeps it swimming in a lively manner even as the current speed picks up. You can tie it in a variety of colors, but my favorite remains the pink and blue version for which the fly is named.


Zen Arcade  Recipe:
Tube: Pro Sport Fisher Flexitube UV Pink
Rear Body: Medium Silver Pro Sport Fisher Flexiweight
Thread: Fl. Orange 8/0 Uni Thread
Front Body: Dubbing ball of Kingfisher Blue Ice Dub
Hackle Prop: Medium clear Pro Sport Fisher Soft Sonic Disc
Feelers: Kingfisher Blue MFC Ostrich (about 20 fibers)
Hackle: Fl. Blue Spey Quill Marabou
Flash: Pink/black Grizzly Barred Flashabou and Blue Krinkle Mirror Flash
Collar: Fl. Pink Schlappen



Confluence Beer Pairing: I recommend trying Sierra Nevada's Sidecar Orange Pale Ale while you tie the Zen Arcade. I am generally not a huge fan of flavored beers, but the full hop profile and subtle mandarin finish pair really well together and strike a nice balance. It reminds me of the mandarins I relentlessly gobble all winter long until the season's over and you can't find them anymore.

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