Join Bennett-Watt and learn how to make the Skunk pattern fishing fly.
Tags:How to Make the Skunk Fishing Fly ,bennett watt,fishing fly tying,fishing tip,fly fishing,fly fishing lesson,make fishing flies,northwest steelhead fishing fly patterns,skunk pattern fishing fly,sports fishing
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Now the ever popular Skunk pattern.
What we will do first, we will tie the return loop down with a very, very few turns. We don't want to occupy a great deal of the return loop with thread. Far too many people make the mistake of striving their thread to close to the eye. We want to stay well away from it. And as you may know, the Skunk has a red cock hackle tail, so we've got to find that. Here we go. This looks like fairly stiff one and what I'll do, I'll just grab about 10 or a dozen of those. I like to have the tail packed, extend just a little press the bend of the hook.
I will do, I'll go back to with the thread until I'm just a little short to the point of the hook. Then I want to take one wrap under the hackle if I was to give them a little bit of a lift and the original patterns for the Skunk called for a black body and the great many people will use shinnelle and I hate this stuff and so I tie my bodies out of Peacock and Ostrich fur. So what I will do, I will grab about 4 strands of this peacock and we want to even up the tips. Now this one has the tip broken off, so we are going to discard that and get another one. The secret to tying flies I think is being very, very critical in picking the materials and only using the best. The amount of time you put into tying the fly is not worth trying to save money on the materials and this is while worth to tying them up and looking around to find good material.
I just put the tensile end to reinforce the body when I twist it to give it a little flash. The original pattern has a silver tinsel rib and I build the rib into the body of the fly and if I do stoop to using shinnelle for the body, I use shinnelle with a built in silver tinsel rib. You want to get these off to the same lines and with the Thompson tight hackle pliers, you just grip and with a shepherd's crook, we tied in by the tip and this causes the twist to run up towards the hook. We don't want to overdo it or we are going to break the peacock. Okay, we got that started without pulling the tail down so we'll take a few wraps. Now we'll go and twist the rest of the peacock up. Tinsel got away from it but no harm done.
We're going to quit while we're going to head here. Unwrap the thread back to the peacock. We're tying this off here on the underside, so as we are ready to tie the ostrich in on the underside, we want about four or five strands of ostrich and we'll give it the same treatment as we do the peacock. Reinforce it again with the silver oval tinsel. You want to use the metallic tinsel and if you can find it the tinsel that has been varnished so that it will not tarnish. Don't use nylon because the nylon stretches and the peacock and the ostrich will break on it. Don't use flat metal tinsel because that will cut the material. Use a fine oval tinsel, the French I like the best and this is one thing you have got to watch out for because there is a lot of tinsel is advertised as French tinsel these days and it's not of the right quality. So if you can find some old tinsel from somewhere or from someone, that's the stuff to look for.
And now we're just going to twist this and we tied the ostrich in by the tip like we did the peacock and we're just going to twist it until the flu stands out there at right angle and there's a little difference in technique in rapping the ostrich. You've got to stroke back after each turn so as we are not tying half of the flu down. We want the body to be as full as we can make it. And we unwrap and we want to finish off in the groove of the return loop so that we can get those ends out of the way. We'll snug them in there and about six or seven wraps just to hold them down. Cut it off, for the hackle we are going to use black and I'm going to use natural black hen because I like the mobility of the soft hackle that is from the -- and we'll pick one end so, and prepare it. I got some ends broken there which I got want to get rid of so I've got to. Then we're going to tie it in by the tip so what this does? It gets the hackle out of the way, gets it ready for doubling and it breaks it down against the stem so it is a small mobile when it is in the water.
Now all we've got to do is get this thread shortened up and out of our way. We'll graft the stem in our right hand. We want this shiny side or the good side facing us when it's above the shank of the hook. Start with the thumb and floss it over and double with the fore finger and underneath, when we come underneath we want the dull side of the feather towards it. Just keep repeating this, folding the hackle as we go till we get the entire hackle wrapped. I like to over hackle all my flies compared to many other people. We have got the hackle wrapped, so we're going to unwrap the thread down to the bare shank of the hook. Then we are going to take three turns of the bare stem of the hackle around the bare shank of the hook and we will finish our head on top of that.
But before we finish our head we've got to put a little touch of a white wing in there. I like polar bear, which still can be obtained legally. Some people like white rabbit some people like white dear hair or something like that. My second choice would be white mink tail. I'm just taking two wraps and now I'm going to cheat a little bit to make sure that wing doesn't pull out. I'm going to put this smallest drop of hedge and on there with my hypo, let that stick soak in and the wing will be stuck in there. Then I'm going to just slide it back the hair, untwist my thread, so as I have a ribbon and finish it. To cut the thread, we just open this, this is a very small amount, slide them under there, push, cut the thread that way you get a very clean cut. You can't see the tag end and all we have to do now is put the head cement on and this is just the first of what will probably be a four or five coats. So I like the heads of my fly to have to look almost like a glass bee and that's all there is to this Skunk and that's the fly that has and will still catch steel head anywhere that they live.