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Summer Twilight II
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Summer Twilight II
By H. Kent Helvie

The wet steelhead fly makes up a large, diversified and important group of dressings. The term wet fly a catch all phrase for those flies that do not qualify as a dry. Spey or prawn, etc. Some of these flies are traditional patterns but many are far from traditional, basic or standard yet they all fall into the same class by a freak chance of fate.

Many of these flies can challenge and test a tier's skill and patience. Their intricate design and unusual use of materials help make them unique. Others are what many professional fishermen call guide flies, flies that are very effective on the fish and are quick and inexpensive to tie because clients often lose a lot of flies. Big, lead eyes leech patterns are good examples of guide flies but they can be nearly fatal if they hit you in the head.

Graceful low water flies also fall into this group. Many low water patterns are trimmed-down standard flies yet other are sleek flies specially designed for this type of fishing. Quite often these flies are Atlantic salmon flies which we steelheaders have adapted to our needs. Although they have their own characteristics, these flies are still wet flies. It is hard to put low water flies in their own group because low water is generally a manner in which a fly is dressed rather than a pattern in itself.

Materials: Summer Twilight II

    Hook:  Low water or Bartleet style hook, I prefer Alec Jackson Spey Hook.

    Tag:   Fine oval gold tinsel.

    Thread:  Red floss.

    Body:   Rear third red floss; balance dubbed purple seal or substitute.

    Collar:  Long, deep purple hackle followed by a dyed red golden pheasant rump feather.

    Wing:   Mottled turkey quill.

Tying Steps:

1. Start with the thread attached in the center and tie in a piece of fine oval tinsel and tie it down to the start of the tag, above the point of the hook.

2. Wind four or five turns of tinsel for the tag and tie off and then tie in a thin strand of red floss.

3. Wrap the floss forward to about the halfway point and tie off and form a dubbing loop.

4. Dub the remainder of the body with deep purple seal fur or a good substitute, stopping about 3/16 of an inch from the eye.

5. Tie in by the tip a long, deep purple hackle and take couple of turns and repeat with a long, golden pheasant rump feather dyed red.

6. Select a pair of well mottled turkey quills and set them out in front of you. The good sides should be up and they should be curving toward each other. The left quill is for the near wing, if you tie righted handed, and the right quill is for the far wing. Cut a matching pair of sections out of each quill about 1/4 of an inch wide.

7. Hold the near wing section in your right hand with the tip up slightly and gently stroke it straight and slightly downward.

8. The finished near wing section should look like this. Repeat with the other wing section.

9. Hold both wings together and place them on top of the fly. Form a soft loop over the top of the wings and bring the thread around a full turn so that you will be tightening the loop with an upward pull.

10. Gently pull the loop tight. With that upward pull snug, take a couple of wraps after the wing is secured where you want it.

11. Trim the wing butts, finish off the head and the fly is done. ~ H. Kent Helvie

Credits: From Steelhead Fly Tying Guide by H. Kent Helvie, Published by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use permission.

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

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