When guiding, most times I have 2 clients. Arriving at a run, one angler makes a 1st pass and the second follows him/her through. I was looking to design a series of flies that would have a completely different look in the water than various tube flies I have designed.
With a new fly design the main 2 things I think about are the skills of my clients and where the fish are holding:
Client - My flies are aimed at giving my clients greater odds of hooking and landing steelhead. Most of my clients are average anglers with average casting abilities. Therefore flies must be designed so that my clients can consistently cast the fly all day to the most productive lies.
Fish - The fly must sink fast to get down to the fish as fast as possible to maximize the swing area. I have found that overdressed flies sink extremely slow because of the resistance between the materials and the water. My goal is to have as sparse a fly as possible that retains its shape under tension and imparts significant movement.
I decided to base the look of this new pattern on the double segmented fly style (some refer to as intruder style). I found most intruder flies on the market to be over-dressed and over-weighted making them un-castable for my clients.
What separates the Extractor from existing patterns on the market is:
- How simple it is to cast.
- The rate of speed that the fly sinks at.
- More movement than existing commercially tied flies while using less materials.
- 2 sections move independently of each other.
I was able to achieve these results by:
- Tieing an extremely thin body is critical to eliminating water resistance and getting this fly down fast.
- Using less weight to get the fly down. The only weight on the fly is the undersized eyes which mostly serve to insure the fly rides correctly in the water.
- Tying the fly sparse.
- The use of rubber to create movement. Rubber doesn't soak up water making the fly easier to cast. Once the fly hits the water the thin rubber has minimal resistance making the fly sink faster. Rubber has memory and it doesn't collapse back flat under tension. When the swing gets into the softer water the memory of the rubber tentacles cause them to flare and create tantalizing movement.
I noticed that the materials on the front section of intruder style flies are tied so they match up with the tips of the rear material. It seemed to me a waste to tie such a large fly only to have the tips at the end of the fly be the only place where movement is imparted. I decided to tie the rubber on the front section short so it wouldn't marry with the rubber in the back section while being swung. This feature allows the front section of materials to move independently from the back section breathing more life into the fly.