Breaking Skein Glitter Fly steelhead fly tying video

The Breaking Skein Glitter Fly is a Crystal Meth variant created by Joe Montello. I first learned of the fly in John Nagy’s book Steelhead Guide. If you haven’t read it, Steelhead Guide is loaded with productive steelhead fly patterns. Although its focus is on Erie tribs, I can tell you that the Ontario steelhead like the Erie flies just fine.

I’ve changed a few things from the original recipe; you can see what I use in the video. Here are Joe’s original specs:

Hook: Mustad 3366 size 12

Thread: UNI peach 6/0.

Tail: 3 strands pearl Krystal Flash

Body: Fluorescent orange or pearl sparkle braid ribbed with regular white Estaz between each loop of sparkle braid

Breaking Skein Glitter Fly Rogues’ Gallery:

Salmon River November 2107

Steelhead streamer: The Grapefruithead Leech

The Grapefruithead Leech is the creation of steelhead guide Kevin Feenstra out of Michigan. I first saw this pattern a couple years ago in John Nagy’s Steelhead Guide. I remember thinking it was a horrible fly. You know, over-the-top, unapologetic, in-your-face, clearly inspired by the egg-sucking leech. I was thumbing through the book this past fall, looking for some ideas, and there it was again. Over the next few weeks, I kept coming back to it. It was kind of like drinking a new bottle of wine that you’re not sure you like; as you’re trying to decide, you realize the bottle’s nearly empty. So I tied some up for my November 2013 trip. Wouldn’t you know, I caught my first steelhead on the swing on this horrible, beautiful, wonderful fly. Feenstra says he likes this pattern whenever there’s snow on the ground. I can tell you that steelhead also like it near dusk on a snowless day, dangling in the current near the tailout of a shallow run.

The Grapefruithead Leech

Image

Hook: Daiichi 2461 or 3XL streamer hook, size 4-2/0
Tail: Black Marabou with sparse red flash
Body: Black marabou, palmered
Overbody:  Black or purple schlappen, palmered
Collar: Mallard flank, one turn
Flash: Green, silver, and blue flashabou
Head: Large fuchsia cactus chenille with a veil of chartreuse ice dub
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Tying Notes: This fly looks huge out of the water; however, the lion’s share of the bulk comes from soft-hackled feathers, so it will slim down dramatically when wet. Before you tie the body, remember to leave enough space for the head. I left a good 1/3 of the shank. To make the body, first tie in a large blood marabou quill by the tip, and a schlappen feather by the tip. Palmer the marabou up the shank; leave enough space between wraps so that a single feather covers the shank. Be sure all the marabou fibers are floating freely. Wrapping the schlappen is the hardest part of tying the fly; take care to mat down as few of the marabou fibers as possible. I used a swaying, back-and-forth motion with the feather as I wrapped, and a bodkin to pick out the marabou when necessary. This fly has way more flash than I typically use in my ties, but subtlety not being its strong point, what the heck. I used 3-4 stands of each color, cut them in half, then tied them in one color at a time. Three turns of cactus chenille, then cover the head with a sparse veil of chartreuse ice dub. (Get it? It looks like a slice of grapefruit.)