Steelhead Hammer variant

It’s a nymph! It’s an egg! It’s an egg-sucking nymph! Whatever it is, steelhead like the Steelhead Hammer. And that’s half the battle, isn’t it?

There are two versions of the Steelhead Hammer that I’m aware of. The first is commonly referred to as “the Orvis version.” It features a woven body and an Estaz thorax that extends east-to-west from under a case back, much like Rusher’s Steelhead Nymph. The version I’m featuring here is a much simpler tie. (I’m all for simple when there’s a good chance my fly will be sacrificed to the river bottom gods.) Canadian tyer Darren MacEachern did an online SBS on this fly several years ago, and that’s where I first learned of it. I’ve been fishing it ever since.


Hook: Orvis 62KC size 8-10
Thread: UNI Fire Orange 6/0
Tail: Soft hen hackle fibers
Body: Two strands of black floss
Rib: Small silver holographic tinsel
Thorax: Estaz Opal Petite (color to match tail)
 My favorite colors are purple, chartreuse, light blue, and pink. You, of course, should play around with your favorites. Anyone for peach, orange, red, white, black…?
A purple Steelhead Hammer sits for a formal portrait.



The Steelhead Hammer Rogues’ Gallery:
Pink size 8, Salmon River, Pulaski, NY

11 comments on “Steelhead Hammer variant

  1. Alton Blodgett says:

    Would it be possible to post a picture of the finished fly please? Thanks!

  2. mfs686 says:

    I am putting together a low water, very cold water fly box. I think this one is going to be part of it.


  3. Gary S says:

    Love simple, something special about the estaz & steelhead relationship. Just curious if you have ever thrown any of these on the Farmington with any success. I have also been using that hook since you talked about it. Love them too. Leaving tomorrow for a 5 day trip hoping to “Hammer” at least a couple despite the bleak reports.

  4. cfishdarien says:

    Can you bring one ttomorow?;

  5. Michael Signorelli says:

    You could be on the radio. Great simple and functional pattern. Thank you for the video!

  6. […] whose basic construct is at least 50% actual invertebrate driven. So, no bigger stoneflies here. No Steelhead Hammer types. And no black-light poster colors. Here we go, in no particular […]

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