Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

Big Y Fly Company

Big Y Fly Company
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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The "Skunk"

"The Skunk" wooly bugger tied and published by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog, but not an original YSF fly. I first used this fly on a drift trip on the middle portion of the Colorado River in the late 90's. It was very effective then and is now as well. After fly fishing my entire adult life, I am convinced that using a large, foreign fly in new waters will often bring trout to the net when conventional flies won't. Springtime is a good time to try different large flies when waters are off color, high and fast.

What happened here, on a recent Memorial Day float in my pontoon boat on the Bull River in Montana, I was doing a little experimenting. In my usual "honey hole", nothing was hitting on top. I had tied up a skunk pattern to use on a June/July float on the Kootenai River with friend and fellow Idaho Fly Fishers Association member, Paul (Hopper) Spear. Paul is a new convert to Idaho fly fishing and we frequently fish together even though he lives in PA. I was hoping this new/old pattern might catch some good Kootenai rainbow, brown and maybe a bull. The results of my experiment were two cutties over 16 inches then a break off. That to me is a successfly 1 hour float.

If you are a used to tying wolly buggers, this is a very easy pattern to tie. Instructions are as follows. PS-Paul, I'll have plenty of these ready for you and the Kootenai.

Black thread on a 1-0 long shank hook.

4 tufts of barbs (20+) off the rachis - 2 black, 2 white.
Alternate placement.

Add grizzly hackle. Tie in small end.

Tie in large black chenille..

Add wire for weight and wrap almost to eye.

Wrap chenille forward and tie behind eye.

Wrap hackle forward and tie in behind eye.
Multiple wraps for head, half hitch then
add head cement. Done!
If you have questions please email me at Also if you have any secret, old patterns join our blog or add your email to our mailing list (right had column just below spinning globe). Your email will not be shared with anyone. Happy, successful Idaho fly fishing.

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