For the story about the creation of this version of the
Skykomish Sunrise, and why it works so well for steelhead,
cutthroat trout and salmon, read my article, Steelhead/Sea Run Cutthroat/Salmon Flies.
Hook: Eagle Claw #1197, size 4 in nickel.
Thread: Black or dark brown 3/0 waxed.
Lead Wire: Lead wire for weighted bodies if fishing conditions require.
Body: Orange yarn.
Rib: Hammered silver tinsel.
Tail: Red and yellow marabou for tail, (fluff off the hackle feathers).
Underwing: Marabou in red & yellow.
Wing: Polar Bear for wing or substitute bright
silvery asil Arabian Stallion mane.
Hackle: Red and yellow feathers.
1. Mix red and yellow marabou-like saddle feathers and apply as tail. These
provide more movement.
2. Then apply yarn. This will be a semi-thick body so I
start it at the front, wrap back and cover wrap with thread. Apply liberal
amounts of lacquer as this will be a long lasting fly if your leader is
3. IMPORTANT!!! Apply tinsel (if used) at a angle downward of
up to 45 degrees. This will keep it from kinking on the first wrap and make
it stronger. Do not use chenille for the reasons mentioned in the article. (See
commentary Atlantic Salmon).
When wrapping the yarn forward, re-grip it next to the fly after each wrap.
Otherwise, some lines on the yarn travel a shorter/longer distance than
others and will look messy. Wrap tinsel and tie off WELL and apply liberal
amounts of lacquer again. Lead wire can be wrapped under the yarn for
deeper waters. If a tapered THICK yarn body is used (best for cutthroat and
salmon) use thin copper wire and double half hitch around each wrap of
yarn, this will keep the yarn from sloughing back from the teeth of a
4. We will change the pattern a bit here to add marabou underwing. It helps.
Apply the marabou a bit further back to allow a slightly smaller head. I
don't mix the colors as in real life, banded colors are prevalent,
especially in the critter that we are copying (hope I never meet one). I use
about 10 thread wraps. We master tiers can apply the marabou with no left
over stubs...other wise, cut them off not too short and apply liberal
lacquer and wrap thread again. Marabou can be tied tail length or even
double that length...leech style.
5. Now we apply the hackle. Tis the most important time for catching quality
for the fly. We can tie long/limp/thin hackle spey style or normal
length/thickly tied with stiff hackles. We can apply the polar bear wing
under or over the hackle. This makes a lot of difference in how high/low
the fly will fish and how buggy or skimpy it will look. Since spey
sucks in looks, I tie and fish mine as shown. If I want it to go deep, I
can always tie some lead wraps under the hook. Gotta look good first of
6. Leave an even diameter base for tying the hackle on and wrapping it. Otherwise, it
will look funny. This pattern requires both a red and a yellow hackle. I
have found it better to tie them on at the same time but wrap and tie them
off separately. About 5 wraps each works good.
7. Then tie on the Polar Bear hair at last. When hair is just secure, add
lots of head cement then continue wrapping. Clip and shape head as desired
(regular black thread on head with lots of lacquer). Whip it and even stomp
it if it is bad, and add copius amounts of cement to finish.
Whoppers don't like their flies coming apart.
Here are more tied by the same method:
~ Pete Hiatt (Whopper Bubba)