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This is designed to be skated just above riffles creating a strong wake that entice steelhead to the surface.
These are considered our Classic Series of Steelhead flies and some are equally effective for Salmon.
Developed on Oregon's Deschutes River, this fly was so named because of the railroad tracks that run the length of the lower river.
All our Steelhead flies are effective and tied to exacting standards, with either calf tail wings, supple Marabou or Saddle Hackle. Many have dubbed bodies that are properly tapered and they also have schlappen Saddle which is soft enough to swim in the currents. All are done on our own chemically sharpened needle point SS-99 steel/salmon hook. All eyes are epoxy coated so they are small and smooth.
On this topic of 'Fly Effectiveness', consider the words of the great Steelhead flyfishing pioneer, Roderick Haig-Brown.
He said " It is good to remember there will be a lot more steelhead caught on a piece of yarn, than all the fanciest flies ever fished".
This is sage advice when your looking to catch a steelhead, which means he is looking for a fly that will be successful, and assumes that some flies, like lures, are more effective than others. He may even be hopefully assuming that the reason for his lack success to this point was, he is simply fishing with the wrong fly. Let me explain something. Flies don’t catch fish...people do. ( But Spirit River flies help) You see, steelhead have a disposition just like a bass. If a lure or fly is presented well, and the steelhead is in the mood, he will hit just about anything! Here on the Umpqua one of the oldest spinners was a copper penny with a hole drilled in it and a hook hung off the back.
All of Spirit River Steelhead flies, wether they are classics or the new 'MOALS' or Brass Monkeys work and work well. The fish just need to be in the striking mood. Our MOALS or 'Mother of all Leeches' are all done on a string and hence have the shorter shank hook. The advantage here is that the fish does not have the leverage like it would on a longer shank hook as you fight the fish. I say a friend hook 10 fish in one day and he brought to hand 8 and I hook a hand full and never touched one. So do not over look this type of steelhead pattern.