Intruder Fly

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Topics  GOD BLESS AMERICA !!!
Intruder Fly
Cabins Connection
Year Round FF
Blue Eared Rump
All pictures are Mouse-over.

Intruder Fly
If it ever gets around to raining, use these !!!
Black Chartreuse Pink
Guide Intruder
By: Scott Howell
Now that I make a living on the water guiding every day, my extended sessions creating at the vice are over.   I now simply need to have proven fly patterns in my box that I have ultimate confidence in.  When it comes to Intruders, I have narrowed my arsenal down to two basic styles.  The first of these that probably defines my contribution to the Intruder pattern is the Signature Series Intruder.  This is a saddle hackle “shellback” Intruder that has already been 
featured on this site as well as the ’08 fall issue of Fly Fisherman magazine. However, it is my Guide Intruder that has become the pillar of my guide program.  The Guide Intruder was simply spawned out of the necessity to have an Intruder style fly that didn’t take 45 minutes or longer to tie. 

As a guide, you don’t have the time each evening to sit at the bench and tie a half a dozen flies that take nearly an hour each.  It also seems to make for better guide/client relations if every time a client loses a fly, I don’t want make them take a "time-out" in the boat. So, one frantic evening when preparing for my next day on the river, I simplified things at the bench and the Guide Intruder was born. It incorporates many of the same body parts of its Signature Series cousin but in a less complex way. As a matter of fact, the first half of the fly is nearly identical. 

 
It has the same ostrich herl tail, dubbed butt, tinsel body, and polar bear/raccoon collar.  It is basically the shoulders of the fly that defines this series of the Intruder.  After the collar, the Guide Intruder is simply finished off with an ostrich herl hackle and a marabou
   skirt. I have to be honest with you - that first night at the bench I thought, “great, this will get me by for tomorrow.”  But that next morning when I gave the imitation Intruder its first dunk, it came alive.  It really looked fishy.  Luckily for me, the fish thought so as well.  I then started tying it in several different color combinations and this simplified version of the Signature Series Intruder became my confidence pattern for the remainder of the season. Over the years, as I have refined both of my series of Intruders, the reasons for tying and fishing each distinct pattern has become.
more evident. The Guide Intruder is now my “go to” fly when I want the biggest most intrusive silhouette in my box.  I find it is often the fly I am fishing in most winter situations.  I prefer its large bulky profile when fishing the cold colored water that is often the norm when chasing winter chrome.  It also seems to wind up on the end of my client’s line in many summer scenarios where I am ultimately trying to show the fish something completely different.  When the fish are starting to count the tinsel wraps on the Green Butt Skunks swimming by, it is time to throw on the Guide  
Intruder.  You can be assured you will get their attention!  In recent years, we as fly anglers have gained more confidence in fishing higher than
   normal river flows.  We have come to find that some of our best fishing can occur on the days that at one time were considered unfishable for the fly.  Some of this confidence has come as a result of fishing large Intruder style flies.  We are now fishing flies with silhouettes similar in size and action to the plugs used by conventional gear anglers.  As a result, we as fly anglers are finding we prefer the same big green flows that the gear anglers have always found more productive.  We now recognize the fact that when our rivers are swollen and colored, the fish are more active and
eager to grab. As I look back at my years living and fishing in BC, I now wouldn’t head North without an assortment of Guide Intruders in several different color schemes.  If I arrived to the Dean or Skeena System and was forced to put my dry flies away by cold colored water, I am
certain a Guide Intruder would be the first fly to hit the drink.  When plying the dark water that often plagues such rivers as the Copper, Kispiox, or Dean, I can’t think of a fly that better suits the needs of a determined steelheader than a purple Guide Intruder.  The dark contrasting silhouette provided by the purple skirt and the chartreuse butt is widely accepted as one of the best color combinations to cut the grit of off-colored water.  The Guide Intruder also has lead eyes to drive the fly to the depths where your bug won’t go unnoticed when water conditions are less than    
perfect. My years fishing in BC also made me a strong believer in the color pink. I had too many fish pulled out behind me by friends fishing the notorious pink worm to not be an advocate of pink.  As a result, there was a time when a pink Guide Intruder was about all I fished in BC unless colored water forced me to go darker.  As I look back at the photo albums from my time spent up North, it is no coincidence that just about every fish has a pink mop hanging from its jaws.  I have since found pink to be productive on most steelhead rivers up and down the coast.

Because I now make a living primarily guiding for steelhead, I often lose sight of the fact that one of my true passions is chasing chrome Chinook with the fly.  My interest in this was first sparked while guiding for the overly aggressive kings of Southwest Alaska.  There I saw bright kings chasing flies right to the surface.  I was not guiding there long before I had gained complete confidence throwing flies for Chinook.  I then brought that same level of confidence with me to the Skeena drainage and caught huge salmon that shared the same eagerness for the fly.  My success chasing bright Chinook with the fly is due in large part to the massive flies I was swimming.  I was basically fishing flies that had silhouettes and action similar to the Kwikfish plugs that have proven to be so successful for gear anglers.  Once again, it was a pink or chartreuse Guide Intruder that found its way out of my box and into the drink on most situations when chasing kings. 

As a guide, I am seeing more and more anglers show up to fish with boxes full of Intruder style patterns of some sort or other.  When I make note of them, each angler has tails of different fish caught on these patterns from rivers as far away as Russia and South America.  This year it was fun for me to have one of my regular clients show me the best fly from his latest trip to Tierra del Fuego.  We both found it to be amusing that it was the exact same Intruder he fishes with me here on the Rogue each season.  He said he could have nearly paid for his trip if he had enough Intruders to sell to the other anglers eager to get in on the same action he was experiencing.  It was no surprise to me that the sea run browns of Argentina shared the same attraction to the Guide Intruder that has proven so successful here at home for both steelhead and kings.

Guide Intruder, Black
Scott says, "When plying the dark water that often plagues such rivers as the Copper, Kispiox, or Dean, I can’t think of a fly that better suits the needs of a determined steelheader than a purple Guide Intruder.  The dark contrasting silhouette provided by the purple skirt and the chartreuse butt is widely accepted as one of the best color combinations to cut the grit of off-colored water." 

Guide Intruder, Black

Item Description Size Price To Top
  STO79BK Guide Intruder, Black 1/0 3 for $8.25 Sale Over

Guide Intruder, Chartreuse
Scott says, "My success chasing bright Chinook with the fly is due in large part to the massive flies I was swimming.  I was basically fishing flies that had silhouettes and action similar to the Kwikfish plugs that have proven to be so successful for gear anglers.  Once again, it was a pink or chartreuse Guide Intruder that found its way out of my box and into the drink on most situations when chasing kings.

Guide Intruder, Chartreuse

Item Description Size Price To Top
STO79CH  Guide Intruder, Chartreuse 1/0 3 for $8.25 Sale Over

Guide Intruder, Pink 
Scott Says, "My years fishing in BC also made me a strong believer in the color pink. I had too many fish pulled out behind me by friends fishing the notorious pink worm to not be an advocate of pink.  As a result, there was a time when a pink Guide Intruder was about all I fished in BC unless colored water forced me to go darker.  As I look back at the photo albums from my time spent up North, it is no coincidence that just about every fish has a pink mop hanging from its jaws.  I have since found

Guide Intruder, Pink

pink to be productive on most steelhead rivers up and down the coast."
Item Description Size Price To Top
  STO79PK Guide Intruder, Pink 1/0 3 for $8.25 Sale Over

Cabins Connection
The Cabins at Creekside For your convenience, The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon can now integrate your lodging with your fly fishing school or guided trip fee when booking with us. The Cabins Creekside at Welches is the best place for fly fishers to stay within our community, and is a hard bargain to pass up. We have always wished there was a place for our customers to stay, where the special needs of traveling anglers could be met. Well it has happened! Long term friends, Bob and Margaret Thurman built their cabins with
special amenities like a secure room for storing gear and drying waders. These cabins offer much privacy and a beautiful tiny mountain stream coursing through their midst. And don't forget, we can make all of your arrangements for lodging when you book one of our guided trips or schools. Come to Welches. We're going to show you a good time!

Year Round Opportunities For Fly Fishers
Welches, Oregon near Mt. Hood is positioned to give the best-centralized access to a region offering world-class fly fishing opportunities.

World famous Deschutes River.

We are located half way between the North Pole and the equator.  This gives us the perfect climate for trout, salmon and steelhead fly fishing every month of the year. Here is incredible diversity. Within a 100-mile radius, the landscape is divided by the Cascade Mountains.  The west half is rain forest.  The east half is desert.  Elevations reach from sea level to above the tree line.  There are lakes, rivers and streams in all the divergent climate zones.    And all are playgrounds for fly fishers.

The Pacific Ocean is to our west.  The Columbia River is to our north.  The world famous Deschutes is an easy drive to the east. Lesser-known rivers such the Clackamas, Hood, Klickitat, Wind and our own home water the Sandy River offer solitude and prolific runs of salmon and steelhead.  Within the Villages of Mt. Hood itself is nearly 100 miles of small mountain streams that offer wild trout fishing to fly fishers of all experience levels.  Many of our streams lie within areas of true ancient rain forests.

Year round steelhead fishing.

Wilderness creeks.

Most are in pristine ecological condition and have good populations of both rainbow and cutthroat trout.  These wild fish are protected by catch and release regulations. There are also many lakes and reservoirs in our region that are regularly stocked with hatchery trout from 8” to 12-pounds that you can keep. The big draw for fly fishers in our area is steelhead fishing.  We are located in lower the Columbia River basin,  no other region in the world offers the diversity of steelhead runs that ours does. 

The Villages of Mount Hood contain the amenities that make fishing this region comfortable: great shops, professional fishing guides, unique dining, quiet rooms
and a myriad of camping opportunities. 

Blue Eared Pheasant
Blue Eared Pheasant Feathers are commonly used as heron substitute.

Blue Eared Pheasants are native to the Kokonor and Kansu provinces of China.  Males and females are almost identical and have full adult plumage by 4-5 months old.  The feathers sold here are plucked from anesthetized live birds. This produces feathers of exceptional size and quality.  Natural feathers when assembled in a fly are nearly indistinguishable from natural heron.  Dyed feathers are first bleached and then dyed which give them very bold colors.  Blue Eared Pheasant feathers of this quality are always in demand and the demand often exceeds the

supply.  Packages contain one dozen feathers.  Size of feathers varies in each package.  Size medium will tie flies from size #4 to #1.  Size large will tie flies from size #1 to #3/0.  Sizing of Spey hackles is often dependent on the whims of the individual tier. 
How to tie Spey Flies with Blue Eared Pheasant.
Item Description Color Size Price To Top
210-003 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers, natural grey   Medium $8.50 Sale Over
210-004 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers, natural grey   Large $11.50 Sale Over
210-053 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed black   Medium $10.75 Sale Over
210-054 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed black   Large $12.50 Sale Over
210-043 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed purple   Medium $10.75 Sale Over
210-044 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed purple   Large $12.50 Sale Over
210-045 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed dark lilac   Medium $10.75 Sale Over
210-046 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed dark lilac   Large $12.50 Sale Over
210-057 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed red   Medium $10.75 Sale Over
210-058 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed red   Large $12.50 Sale Over
210-059 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed yellow   Medium $10.75 Sale Over
210-060 Blue Eared Pheasant rump feathers dyed yellow   Large $12.50 Sale Over

Using Blue Eared Pheasant Rump For Hackling Spey & Dee Flies
By: Peter Gadd

A Spey Fly example tied by Peter Gadd.

Traditional Spey and Dee fly hackles are some what of a mystery since you can't obtain any spey cock feathers.  They went extinct around the turn of the century.  Herons and eagles are protected by Federal law. The long fibered feathers from all three kinds of birds were commonly used in the past for tying salmon flies.  So, this is a brief overview of materials and styles used in our era and a semi modern approach to hackling.

Spey flies were traditionally tied with what is now known as spey cock.  This particular fowl was from the Speyside Valley in Northern Scotland.  It had all of the attributes one looks for in wet fly hackle feathers;  pliable stems, and long barbules that when wet flowed with the currents.  This domesticated chicken was in fact bred for its feathers as it was said to be rather tasteless on the table.  Spey Cock  feathers allowed the hackle to be tied in at the bend of the hook due to their long

A Dee fly example tied by Peter Gadd.

The Blue Eared Pheasant rump feather is folded and tied in at the 1/3rd point of the body.

nature.  They were often cross wrapped with double tinsels to make very durable flies.  Schlappen (side of tail) feathers from modern chickens make a respectable substitute.   But, you must really sort through each packet to find a few really good ones.  Schlappen isn't very expensive, but the process is time consuming.  Whiting hackle has marketed feathers similar to spey cock as of late that can be tied in any manner with excellent

results; only problem is that it doesn't have long enough fiber length for the longest of hooks, at least not yet anyways.  Blue Heron was another plumage in wide use at the time.  These birds feathers have all of the attributes that one could look for; slender quills and large hackles this feather can do it all. You can tie either from the rear of the shank or were ever you would like.  The problem is, it illegal to have.  Eared pheasants come in three varietals. White, brown and blue eared; the first two being under Federal protection.  Blue eared pheasants on the other hand .

Dub the rest of the body and rib the whole body from the rear to the front.  Then wind the hackle forward and tie it off.  Pull the fibers down.

Pluck or trim the pheasant fibers that do not conform.  Apply two or three turns of teal in front of the pheasant hackle.

are under no restrictions and are farm raised.  Lucky for us because they have superb quality feathers for fly tying. The feathers are plucked from anesthetized live birds.  The rump feathers have very long barbules that can be bleached, then dyed in many different colors. Blue eared rump is sold in different sizes ranging from small to large, and in whole skins.  This offers a wide spectrum in sizes from size sixes to your largest long shanked Dee's.  Luckily the bulk of the feathers are perfect for our steelhead size fly from 6-3/0 size flies.

To work with these feathers one must either find exceptionally long quills to hackle from the rear of the hook, or use two feathers or start approximately 2/3 up the shank with a single average length quill. One can  either strip one side of the hackle  for a sparse fly.  They usually tie very well this way.  Or you can fold the hackle as per the photo. In his classic book, Salmon Fishing, published in 1931, Eric Tavener wrote, "I have discarded the old method of stripping heron from one side because some

Tie in a Mallard flank wing, dressed low.

Finish the fly with a small head.

excellent fibers were thereby lost and the  weak lower fibers as well as the quill were retained. Its far better  to keep the strong dark fibers near the top, double the feather and wind it with the quill next to the body, so that every fiber stands out from the body."  In this case heron was used but it still holds true for the eared pheasant feathers. Remember that you may apply the feather either way depending on the look you want to achieve. The fly shown here was tied without a secondary rib that is tied in at the other side of the shank and

crossed over the hackle.  This is just another option that could be used. What ever way the hackling is done eared pheasant lends itself perfectly to steelhead Speys and traditional salmon tying.   (All the pictures above are mouse-over).


Black Spey
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey Hook, Gold, (Size 1.5 pictured here).
Thread: 8/0 Black Uni Thread
Tag: Flat Silver, size 14
Rib: Flat Silver, size 14
Body: Black SLF
Pheasant Rump Hackle: Black, with fibers 1 1/2 to 2 times as long as the hook
Front Hackle: Teal, with fibers 1/2 the length of the hook
Wing: Strips of bronze mallard flank to reach the rear of the hook
HEAD: small black


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty