The spectrum of traditional and contemporary steelhead patterns runs rich with brilliant neons, contrasting dark tones dressed in flashy tinsels and wiggly parts. These catch plenty of fish and certainly more fishermen. Bob Arnold’s Spade is about as ratty and drab a steelhead fly you’ll find. While the Spade was originated on the NF Stilly for wild summer steelhead, it’s impressively buggy form is absolutely irresistible along the dry side rivers during the fall. Is it a caddis, a stonefly, some sort of leech or a black stick unnaturally waffling through the run? Whatever the case may be, the Spade has a definite presence in the river without looking totally out of place. Whether you find yourself on the Methow, Wenatchee or Grand Ronde this autumn, swim the Spade on a dry line just subsurface and find yourself utterly amazed by how many steelhead can’t help but eat it. As a bonus, the Spade is extremely durable and quick to tie.

The Spade

Hook: Daiichi 2421 or 2441 #4-8
Thread: Black Uni 6/0
Tail: Natural brown bucktail (the inside fur from a white patch you never use)
Body: Black angora goat dubbing
Hackle: Grizzly

The Confluence Beer Pairing: We fully endorse drinking Chuckanut Brewery’s Rauch Marzen Lager while whipping up a few Spades and plotting out your next fall steelhead venture. Better yet, join us at for a delicious smokey Rauch at our October 28th Confluence Tying Night at the Chuckanut Brewery.

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