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?
- 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, Winter Steelhead