December brings you Brandon’s “Hey What Color is This?” Steelhead Fly, a sinfully enticing, breathtakingly sexy winter steelhead pattern. For those of you that may miss the humor in this fly’s nom de plume, Brandon is color-blind and therefore has little concept of what color his little brainchild actually is. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t really matter. When sitting down at the vise to tie steelhead flies, think profile and movement. Color is probably the least important variable in why a steelhead actually eats the fly, provided he or she can see it. The HWCITSF sports lots of movement with its lively rabbit strip tail and marabou collar. It also maintains a robust profile in the river current as the soft collar is propped up by a liberal mane of materials in a dubbing loop. Some of the newer materials from Hareline Dubbin like the KF Blue Ice Dub, Purple Electric Ripple Ice Fiber and UV Pearl Ripple Ice Fiber really add a nice touch of translucency and body. Swing this fly confidently on a sink tip and hang on. This fly style can be readily tied in a variety of color schemes from exceedingly bright to dark and subdued. For those of you with the luxury of perceiving color the way we think most people do, Brandon wanted to share his black and blue version here.
Brandon’s “Hey What Color Is This?” Steelhead Fly
Shank: 32 mm OPST Steelhead Shank
Trailing Hook: #4 Owner SSW
Thread: Fl. Pink 140 Denier Ultra Thread
Tail: Purple/Hot Pink Two Toned Rabbit
Body: Dubbing loop of Kingfisher Blue Ice Dub, Fl. Purple Electric Ripple Ice Fiber and UV Pearl Ripple Ice Fiber
Hackle: Fl. Pink Spey Quill Marabou
Flash: Blue/black Grizzly Barred Flashabou
Collar: Purple Schlappen
Confluence Beer Pairing: Brandon implores you to try Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale while you tie this fly. It’s a fresh hopped IPA with bright citrusy grassy notes as opposed to the malt driven winter warmers that everyone else markets this time of year. Celebration makes you pine for the long, illuminating days of spring and helps you survive the ominous dark and dreary days of an unending Northwest winter. You should try to survive long enough to at least tie this fly and catch a wild winter steelhead on it.