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Frank G. Swarner III

3 1/2" Flatwing Steelhead Fly step by step

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Flatwing Steelhead Fly - Based on the September Night Fly


Hook: Daichii 2451 - size 4 shown

Thread: 6/0

Platform (tail base): White Calftail/Kiptail

Tail: 1 pink saddle tied over 1 slightly shorter white saddle feather

Dubbing: Ice dubbing - Pearl in dubbing loop

Throat #1: White Calftail/Kiptail

Throat #2: White Marabou feather wrapped

Wing: 1 Olive saddle tied over 4 stands of purple flashabou, over 10 lavendar bucktail hairs, over 10 white bucktail hairs


1: Attach the thread to the hook


2: Trim off some white Calftail/Kiptail and pull out the short fibers so you are left with the longer hairs. The final clump should about 20 hairs max. We don't want bulk, keep it sparse....that goes for the whole fly too.


The platform is made by tying the fibers on top of the hook shank so they are slightly longer than the length of the hook shank. After they are secured, use your thumbnail to spread the fibers out in a horizontal plane. To do this put your thumbnail on the bend of the hook, below the tail. Slide your nail up the bend and when you hit the tail kind of roll your nail from side to side to spread the hairs.


3. Tail - Select a short white saddle feather that is on the wide side and strip of most of the filoplume. We want to tie the feather onto the top of the hook shank where the stem begins to taper into the longer, finer tip. The goal is to tie the feather flat and the length should be 1 1/2 times the hook shank. Select an olive saddle hackle and repeat the process, except this saddle should be a 1/4 inch longer than the white one below it.


4. Body - Make a dubbing loop, insert ice dubbing and spin....wrap the body and stop shorter than usual if you want to add a colorful throat like I did.....Red for bloody wounded gills. Leave at least 2 eyelengths of room on the hook shank for the rest of the materials.


5. Throat #1 - Clip of another clump of white calftail (red calftail would be good for a throat here too!!) and seperate the longer fibers like step #2. The fibers should extend past the bend of the hook but not longer than the platform. They also should be 1 hair thick on the lower half of the hook. Trim off excess after they are secured.


6. Throat #2 - Select a white marabou feather and tie it in by the tip. Wrap the feather as you would a dry fly hackle and make 2 complete turns, tie off excess and trim. Now's a good time to add a litte dab of head cement for strength. The marabou should extend about the same length as throat #1.


7. Wing - Select 10 white bucktail fibers and tie them onto the top of the hook shank. they should be about the same length as the pink saddle. Select 10 lavendar bucktail fibers and tie them in the same location but slightly longer. Select 2 strands of purple flashabou and fold them around thread so they are double into 4 strands.....tie them on top of the hook shank and leave them extra long. Select an olive saddle hackle and repeat the process in step #3 for prepearing the feather. The saddle should be a 1/4 inch longer than the bucktail fibers.


8. Finsh with a whip finish and a coat of head cement. Trim flashabou so it is slightly longer than the olive saddle for a flashtail effect.















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Thank you Will!!


A cone or bead can be added to the front for a little weight.


This type of fly has amazing action in the water/current as long as it is tied sparsely and the materials are alowed to do the work. As it swings across a stream every little touch of current makes the fly come alive.


I rareley strip this fly, if I want to add some action I will raise the rod tip slowly to make tail "swim" a little quicker, then lower the tip slowly as if the fly is a tired minnow WHAM!!


Great for great lakes steelhead, browns, and kings.....haven't got a coho on one, but maybe this year:)


I'm not sure how it will perform in still water on the strip......

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:punk: :pimp: :thumbup: :clapping:


Excellent Step-by-Step instructions and photos Frank! I love to fish small flatwings. They have a terrific motion in the water. Thanks for the continued inspiration, buddy. :D

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