Fly Of The Week

By Gary LaFontiane

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

The Creature is one of the simplist flies in intent. It imitates a small mammal of some kind. Most anglers have either seen or can picture an animal swimming in a trout stream. The fly is fished the same way.

Anyone who cannot imagine a swimming creature, a little frantic, trying to reach land, should borrow a Pekinese puppy. He can take that bit of fluff out in a boat to the middle of a river and toss the puppy into various types of water - a slow pool, a choppy riffle, a white-capped riffle - all the time studying how the animal reacts to these currents. It is best to choose a river without pike, bass, or unusually large trout for this training exercise.

The Creature doesn't have to be tied on large hooks. It is a less intimidating fly, even for big trout in baby sizes. The pattern, a puff of fur, has worked well on size 14, long-shank streamer hooks. Still, it takes a predator to grab the Creature, and in my experience it is a waste of time casting it on streams that lack good population of one-pound browns or two-pound rainbows.

My favorite rivers for the Creature are winding brushy flows, every out sweep, a deep undercut. On that kind of smooth, dark water the fly cuts a clear arc on the surface. The trout do not atack the Creature like a streamer. On the tiny sizes they frequently just suck it down. On the bigger sizes the fish often burst up under the fly instead of chasing it, and then the angler has to wait for the jumping trout to turn downwards before setting the hook.

My best fish on a Creature was caught many years ago, in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the South Fork of the Flathead, in the huge pool where the Danaher comes in. A bull trout drifted up slowly from the bottom and rolled on a size 8 Brown creature sitting dead on the surface. That fish weighted twelve pounds.


Hook:  2-8 up-eyed Atlantic salmon dry fly, TMC 7989.

Foundation:  Yarn (wrapped and soaked with glue.)

Skin:  Rabbit fur still on the skin.

Tail:  White calf tail.

Head:  Dubbed fur.

Tying Steps:

1. Wrap the hook with yarn and spread head cement; slit a cylinder of foam or balsa and fit it over the hook shank; close the slit with Zap-a-Gap glue.

2. Tie in a narrow strip of rabbit fur still on the skin; leave a short tail of sheared skin.

3. Wrap the fur strip along the shank, forming the shaggy body of the fly.

4. Dub a very thick head of fur. Whip finish. ~ Gary LaFontaine

Credits: From Trout Flies by Gary LaFontaine, published by Greycliff Publishing. We greatly appreciate use permission.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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