Steelhead Flies (Dedicated to the pursuit of Steelhead and Salmon)

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The Intruder Fly Pattern - no that isn't correct. The Intruder Fly originally tied by Jerry French, and Ed Ward, was a concept pattern. The concept was to tie a large fly pattern with a small trailing hook. Before the Intruder, large flies were tied on large hooks. These hooks damaged the Steelhead for release - they were tied on large ott (1/0, 2/0 3/0…) hooks that were cutter hooks that kept slicing into the fish's mouth.

Second part of the concept was to tie a fly with two stations - a rear and forward station. This allowed a large fly to cast easier.

Since the 1990's this fly has continued to morph. The reason for this is in the word Intruder which refers to two things:

1. The fly concept that Jerry French and Ed Ward developed.

2. An Intruder is something that anadromous fish respond to - other small fish in their redds hanging around to eat their eggs.

Large flies tied in an Intruder Style can also represent food like squid and shrimp that steelhead and Salmon have foraged on in the ocean.

Intruder Flies for Steelhead, Salmon, and Sea Run Browns

What does an Intruder suggest or represent to a Steelhead?

Possible Responses:

  • Automatic Condition Feeding Response - representation of a squid, prawn or fish.
  • Curiosity Response – Large 3 to 6 inch Intruders are large animated attractors that instigate Steelhead, Salmon. And sea run Browns into striking.
  • Survival Competition Response – An Intruder may eat eggs, and the survival response is to remove they prey.
  • Territorial Competition Response – when Steelhead come into a holding area they often setup a territory. When an Intruder swings through their area and bite response is initiated.
  • Anger Response – an Intruder has disturbed the peace, a Steelhead’s space.

What to Look for in an Intruder:

1. Size (bigger is often better) This depends on water clarity and water temperature. Clear water = smaller; Cold water = larger.
2. Shape, profile and outline (what does the fly look like when it is wet and swinging through the current.
3. Color - Steelhead are color-conscious to the extreme.
4. Movement – does the fly have movement in the water, not the air.
5. Casting ability – can you cast the big Intruder. Big flies = big rods, and heavier sink tips. Or adjust your cast. You can Perry Poke Spey Cast a big Intruder if you are having trouble.
6. Durability – will they fly stand up to casting a fishing punishment.

Stinger-style Hybrid Intruder Flies


Take a look at Moal Leeches for Intruder Type Flies. Larger size Moal Leeches are Intruders, and their snaky movement profile move Steelhead to the take.

Top Winter Moal Leeches (Click Here) Also See All Steelhead and Salmon Flies (Click Here) 


Jeff Layton, Intruder Fly Caught Steelhead 

Jeff Layton, Winter Steelhead


Jason's Sputnik Tube Intruder, Blue - Product Image
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Jason's Sputnik Tube Intruder, Blue

The Sputnik Tube Intruder is a blend of traditional Intruder styling and European highlights. A fusion of natural and synthetic materials; Finn Raccoon, Arctic Fox, Ostrich, Predator Wrap and Marabou add to this flies swimming action. The Finn Raccoon wing is reminiscent of Scandi styles. Two stations similar to Intruders. A collar weight behind the front station helps to get the fly down. The Sputnik has great movement and a profile in the water that is irresistible to fish.


Price: $6.25 

MAKE IT RAINBOW - Product Image
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Plenty of rivers have multiple species of both anadromous and resident fish at the same time.   This makes for some amazing fishing, but also presents the issue of what pattern is the best pattern to use that has the greatest chance of a grab across all species. RIO's Make It Rainbow is that fly. This fly is a virtual steelhead magnet, while also grabbing the attention of large brown trout and rainbow trout at the same time. Got bull trout in the stream?   Try the white, which we promise they can’t resist.

ONE in Stock 

Price: $5.69 

OM Tube, Black/Blue - Product Image
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OM Tube, Black/Blue

Ostrich and  Marabou Tube Fly.
The Ostrich on this tube fly is propped up by diamond braid ball and intruder prop hackle. Forward of the Ostrich is Marabou and Schlappen hackle. Flashabou and .25” Bead (Better for turbulence to move hackle and egg sucking leech attributes.

  • Fly is 3.25 – 3.5 inches long
  • Highlights of Lady Amherst
  • Hook (Interchangeable) comes with #1 SSW Owner Hook 

Price: $7.95 

O-I Intruder Tube, Black/Blue - Product Image
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O-I Intruder Tube, Black/Blue

This custom tied tube fly by Grabflies is a two stage Ostrich Herl Intruder.
Good for Steelhead and Coho Salmon 
Fly Size: 3 inches - easy to cast 

Tube Fly comes with hook and junction tubing - select hook size below.
Four in Stock 

Custom tied, made in the USA

Price: $6.49 

Marabou Spey, Purple/Black - Product Image
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Marabou Spey, Purple/Black

Marabou Spey, a single stage Leech.

A non-weighted Marabou fly with lots of movement. The Marabou is propped up with a diamond braid ball with Prop hackle in front then followed by Marabou and then finished with Schlappen Hackle, Flashabou, and Micro Barred Voodoo Fibers. Trailing #2 Owner hook is held in place with hook junction tubing and red tinsel wrap for color and stiffness so it doesn’t foul when casting.


  • Great Summer and Fall Steelhead colors.
  • Size: 2.5 inches 
  • Easy to cast

Custom tied, made in the USA

Price: $5.49 

Black and Orange Intruder Tube - Product Image
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Black and Orange Intruder Tube

Black and Orange are proven Steelhead colors. Tied with a Orange cone, Orange Schlappen hackle, Black Marabou, Orange Grizzly Hackle, Flashabou.

Comes with junction tubing and hook.

Size: 2.75 - 3 inches

Select Hook Size Below. 

Custom tied, made in the USA


Price: $6.49 
Hook Size  

Established in 2009
Washougal WA 98671