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the wilson streamer.


i had a request from some dude asking about a fly called the wilson streamer.  i don’t think this is the fly he was looking for but i told him i would post it on the website anyway so here goes.


the fly that i call the wilson streamer is a really simple small baitfish imitation that i use up at the lake (lake wilson... thus the name, clever huh.)  anyway i use this pattern quite a bit to test out different color schemes and fly sizes.  when i find something i like i’ll often incorporate the color or size into other more complex patterns.  the beauty of this fly is that it is extremely easy to tie so you can quickly tie up a bunch in different colors and sizes and end up with a whole arsenal of “bullets” to suit whatever’s going down on the lake.  some of my favorite colors are olive green, uv pearl, and gold.  but i also tie them in just about every color imaginable.  in fact i just tied up a yellow and red one for this web posting that looks pretty tight.  the materials used in this fly come in many different colors so the possibilities are endless.  i tie the wilson streamer in sizes 6 to 14.  there is no limit to how small it can be tied but i find that it gets a little awkward and less “baitfishy” when tied larger than a size 6 or on a shank longer than 3x.


the shtuff.

the materials for the wilson streamer are as follows:

hook: pretty much any nymph or streamer hook will work  the size of the hook and the shank length will determine the size of the fly.  i like the tiemco 5262 and 3761 sizes 6 to 14.

thread: i use red thread for all of these flies regardless of color.  it never hurts to have a little red in a streamer.

head: brass bead head

tail: pheasant tail fibers

body: midge diamond braid

wing: ice wing fiber

collar: ice dub (or any nymph dubbing)

rib: black or gold wire, the wire rib on this fly is more for durability than anything else.


slip the bead on the hook.  if the bead doesn’t want to go, try smashing the barb down or use a larger bead.


wrap a base of thread to the bend of the hook.


tie in a clump of pheasant tail fibers about as long as the gap of the hook is wide.


tie in the wire for the rib.


tie in the midge diamond braid and wrap forward to just behind the bead.  tie it off with three or four thread wraps.


trim the excess braid and wind the wire forward using evenly spaced wraps.  tie off the wire and trim the excess.


pull out a sparse bunch of ice wing fiber and kind of fold it into a clump.  tie in the middle of the ice wing clump on top of the fly.


fold back the bunch of ice wing fiber and tie it down.  at this point there should be lots of ice wing fiber loops hanging off the back of the fly.


dub a little dubbing on the thread.


wrap the dubbing behind the bead and tie off.  to trim the wing run your scissors through the wing to cut all the ice wing fiber loops.  then take the fly out of the vise and trim the wing to just a little beyond the hook bend.  avoid chopping the wing into a straight edge (chawan cut flies don't look so good).  i like to trim the wing by cutting it from behind keeping my scissors parallel with the hook shank.  done.


make sure to cut your wing just a little longer than the bend of the hook to avoid what i call the “leg up” while fishing.  the "leg up" is when the wing of a streamer gets caught in the hook gap and sticks out perpendicular to the fly as illustrated in this photo.  when this happens the fly loses all “baitfishyness” and, in my experience, fish don’t like the leg up.  so check your fly often while fishing and if you notice this happening frequently.  trim the wing shorter.  conditions and casting style both factor into how long the wing can be.  if the wing is as long as the hook bend or shorter than the hook bend the "leg up" will not be a problem.


to vary the size and profile of the fly just use different styles and sizes of hooks.  a shorter shank hook will yield a rounder fuller look (like tilapia and bluegills).  a longer shank hook will produce a longer slimmer profile (like medaka, or fry).  so before your next trip up to beautiful wahiawa, tie up some wilson streamers... you may be pleasantly surprised.



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