In recent years tube flies have made a comeback in steelhead circles. One reason for this resurgence is better landing ratios using tube flies with trailing hooks versus traditional steelhead hooks. Idylwilde started producing a series of tube flies developed for use at the Silver Hilton on the famed Babine River in British Columbia.
This series of flies was tied on a short plastic tube with a rabbit strip extending well past the end of the tube. The hook was rigged on a loop that would swim free hoping the tension on the line would hold the hook near the end of the rabbit as the fly was fished under tension on the swing. This series of flies performed well but at times the angler would experience strikes without hooking fish. This was attributed to the fact the hook was dangling freely and may not always be in the correct position when a steelhead struck.
As a guide designing flies for his clients Brian Silvey wanted a fly that would take the assets of the Babine style tube flies and solve some of the perceived problems. Brian wanted a fly that would:
1. Fish a long fly tied on short tubes but have the hook ride at the end of the fly.
2. Use a tube fly system to fish a small hook that would not be dressed or attached to the fly to increase hook to land ratios.
3. Swim like an articulated fly in the water but that the average client could cast easily.
4. Fish with both dry lines and sink tips.
5. Fish effectively for both summer and winter fish.
Out of these requirements came the Silvey's Tandem Tube Fly.
In addition to the tube at the head of the fly like the traditional tube flies, Brian added a small tube to the end of the rabbit strip allowing the fly to be rigged with the hook ridding at the end of the fly. This second tube rigging system solved the problem of fishing a long fly with a short tube and not sacrificing the movement in the water that makes this fly fish so effectively. The second tube is a very simple solution to an angling problem that has stumped many tube fly tiers up to this point.
Silvey's Tandem Tube series is designed to be fished on a tight line swing. The fly has a cone head that allows it to get down whether fished on a dry line or sink tip. It is recommended that you purchase a pre-rigged version of the fly along with none rigged version so you have a model to follow when rigging on your own.
Brian has designed a line of flies called Silvey's Tube Snakes. This line of flies gives the same profile of the intruder style flies but has several advantages. Since it is tied with the tandem tube technique the Silvey's Tube Snakes have more articulated movement. (the intruder style fly is tied on a shank so the body doesn't articulate). Most importantly for Brian, these flies can be cast by the average fly angler.