THE GOLD DIGGER
The last 4 to 6 years the streamer category, in terms of types of flies, has probably seen more innovation that all other types of flies and methods in existence. There’s been a revival or renaissance of streamer tying and fishing like we haven’t seen in decades or even a half century. New materials, new methods, many new fly patterns, and I have been honing this craft, something I have always done, all along the way. There are many new flies that are built on a platform so to speak, articulated, that is with one or more connecting sections, either using shanks or wire or backing loops. They all catch fish like crazy, and I must say these flies have put the largest brown trout ever in my net or boat.
This pattern is a variation on a pattern I developed years ago that I call a Locked n Loaded. Its articulated, has lead eyes, a hair head, and is a great pattern for trout and bass. It is among the best brown trout flies you can throw. Its essentially two flies connected by a wire loop.
Rear 1/2 of fly
Hook: Gamakatsu B10S sizes 2-6 size 6 if you are tying a 3.5 inch fly, size 4 if a 4.5 inch fly, 2 if a 5-6 inch fly. This fly I am using a size 6
Thread: UTC 70 Hopper Yellow
Tail: Marabou, Very light yellow
Body: small copper crystal chenille
Hackle: Grizzly neck hackle, tied in tip first, then palmered over the wrapped chenille body
Wing: Hareline Rabbit strip, sand variant color, tied on top 1.5 times hook length
Overwing: Dyed Mallard flank feather tied on top like a ‘hood’ …..wood duck flank is fine too
Beadalon 7 strand Bead stringing wire .024″
Three 5/32″ metal beads (gold)
Front 1/2 of fly
Hook; Gamakatsu B10S size 4 (size 4 for 3.5 inch fly, size 2 for 4.5 inch fly, size 1 for 5.5 inch fly
Thread: UTC 70 Hopper Yellow , for all the body except for the hair head
Thread: for finishing the by hair spinning G.S.P 100 in white
Wing: Marabou, light yellow same as rear of fly
Body: small copper crystal chenille
Hackle: Grizzly, tied in by its tip, palmered
Eyes: Lead, Med, painted Chartreuse with black pupils
Wing: Deer Hair Grayish brown
Legs: 4 sili legs, 2 amber/gold and 2 brown/glitter, tied in so there’s 2 of each color down each side of the body
Head: Stacked deer hair, brown on top, natural on bottom
We often are using the streamer patterns we fish with a sink tip or sinking line. Here’s a pretty good video from one of our line suppliers, and which I am an ambassador for, RIO PRODUCTS.…
Our fly company has produced flies for over three decades…..patterns can be tied to order….small batch, high quality, tied by a guide with over 30 years experience in the industry both from a guide and a fly tying standpoint. Follow us here on Instagram…. click here
Tying A Jeff’s Dead Squirrel
Though certainly not a new pattern totally, it is a very effective one for trout, bass (large and smallmouth), and panfish. Essentially a wooly bugger hybrid that I have used to great success, particularly with large fish, and typically fished dead drift as well. It can be fished dead drift or stripped or a combination of the two, but in my opinion on this one dead drift is king. It is a deadly fly on the larger fish in the private waters I guide folks on. For whatever reason, dead drifting any streamer is a bizarre concept for some, but we catch some of our largest fish this way……fish over 5lbs that won’t move to hit a fly presented any other way. This is especially true on hard fished waters or winter fishing where a large fish isn’t going to move far for anything, and almost never UP to hit something. They feed more on a horizontal plane….laterally I surmise……and that’s another reason I use a tungsten bead on this bug. It gets to the bottom.
This fly, simple as it is, was our most requested custom tied patterns of the past 3 seasons.
Made of incredibly tasty components, are those components are….:
Thread: UTC 140 Red
Head: 1/8 Tungsten bead, gold
Tail: Pine squirrel strip tied short, natural I like, black is a good #2
Ribbing: Silver wire on natural version, copper wire on black version
Body: Peacock Herl on Natural Version, Black Diamond Braid on Black Version
TYING DIRECTIONS for Jeff’s Dead Squirrel Strymph (Streamer-Nymph)
I also frequently tie a few variations of this pattern, one of which is a black version with a diamond braid body. Here’s that fly in a step by step recipe as above:
Here’s a Testemonial from a former flyfishing class student on the Dead Squirrel…
My name is David Horky and I took your fly fishing class the fall before last. Since then I’ve been tying and fishing your dead squirrel pattern from your web page. I’m sure you know better than any one this fly is amazing. I’ve probably caught 90% of my trout and bass on this pattern. However, the picture that I’ve attached is my wife’s first trout. It was caught last Saturday on a Jeff’s dead squirrel none the less. Thanks for passing along your knowledge and experience of the sport.
My oldest son Ben with a huge rainbow that found a Dead Squirrel very much to its liking.
Here are some other great patterns…….make note for NC waters articulated patterns can only have 1 single hook and be legal.
Galloup’s Articulated Barely Legal
Galloup’s Articulated Boogey Man
Galloup’s Articulated Bottoms Up
@copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing all text and photos by Jeff Wilkins 2020