Black Jack Steel – Steelhead Nymph Pattern

Steelhead flies are a blast to tie. They are big, colorful, and look really fun in a fly box. Each spring I reserve a considerable amount of time at the vise for these colorful creations. Among my favorites is the Black Jack Steel. About five years ago I created a trout fly that I named the Black Jack. It is a Prince Nymph variant with a thread body that is coated with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails as the center piece of this pattern. It has found great success for trout throughout the Western United States. While dabbling at the vise with that fly in mind I came up with a steelhead variation that incorporates a hot pink (or chartreuse) bead, and a Semi-Seal dubbing collar. I have now fished this nymph for steelhead for the past four seasons, and done very well.

Steelhead Nymph - Black Jack Steel

The two colors I fish this fly in are pink as a first choice, and chartreuse coming in second. I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that steelhead are typically more willing to take nymphs with pink on them over other colors. I’m sure that is not the case everywhere, and it is probably just the rivers that I fish. Either way, I always have a multitude of colors in my steelhead boxes. I think it makes it more fun that way!

Black Jack Steel - Chartreuse

Black Jack Steel - Pink

There are multiple factors that make this a winning pattern including it’s ease of tying, durability, and it’s ability to catch steelhead. Give it a shot!

Idaho Steelhead

Recipe
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 (Sizes 8)
Bead: Hot Pink or Chartreuse Tungsten (Size 5/32)
Weight: Lead Wire
Thread: Black UTC 140 Denier
Tail: Black Goose Biot
Rib: Fl. Pink/Chartreuse (depending on variation) UTC 140 Denier
Glue for Body: Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails
Collar: Black Semi-Seal (Pink) or Peacock Semi-Seal (Chartreuse)
Wings: White Goose Biot

Tungsten Embryo – #1 Egg Pattern for Steelhead and Trout

The Tungsten Embryo has caught everything from Steelhead to Bull Trout to Alaskan Rainbows, dollies, and grayling. Not to mention just about every other salmonid species in the western US. It is an egg pattern with a tungsten bead embedded in the center to add the weight necessary to get the egg near the stream bottom where it belongs.

Steelhead Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Steelhead Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Bull Trout Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Bull Trout Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Alaskan Rainbow Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Alaskan Rainbow Caught on Tungsten Embryo

If you are wondering how to tie flies that quickly get into the feeding zone of fish, tungsten is the answer. In the past I wasn’t a huge fan of the ever successful glo bug because it had no weight to it, and required significant amounts of split shot to get it down. Soft otter eggs fell into this same category of trout/steelhead egg patterns, and after years of moderate success I finally came up with an egg pattern that I have found to be significantly better. I’ve now been fishing this pattern for four years now and have found great success with it. It is extremely durable, and without a doubt either the hook will dull, or you will break off before the body of this pattern will fall apart.

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Loon Outdoors has a product called UV Fly Paint. It is a UV curable material that comes in three colors, red, orange, and yellow. All three can be used on this fly, but red and orange are my preferred colors. I’ve also tried many different colored tungsten bead under this material, but silver has a very subtle shine from beneath the material that I personally prefer regardless of the outer material used.

Give this pattern a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Recipe:
 
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Sizes 8-12
Bead: Silver Tungsten 1/8-7/64 depending on hook size
Thread: UTC 140 FL Pink
Egg Material: UV Fly Paint (Red, Orange, or Yellow)

Small Stream Big Results – Euro Nymphing Approach

Wyoming has excellent fishing. Euro nymphing is a great way to catch fish. Put them together and great things can happen.

My friend Kohler and I spent a fun summer day catching some awesome trout euro nymphing and trying not to get bitten by rattlesnakes. Luckily none of the snakes attached themselves to us, and many beautiful trout were caught.

It’s the middle of winter where I live, the high for tomorrow is supposed to be a whopping 12 degrees. This video helps warm me up just thinking of bright summer days catching awesome fish. I hope it will do the same for you.

If you haven’t checked out Tacky Fly Boxes you should! Learn more at Tack Fly Fishing I’m currently transitioning from foam slit fly boxes to the silicone slit Tacky boxes for the majority of my flies. This box will enhance your fly fishing experience!

Most of the fish caught in this video were taken on a fly called the Rowley Stone. It is my number one stonefly pattern, and catches a large percentage of my fish each year. Lear how to tie the Rowley Stone.

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