Since temps are back in the single digits, I am back in the Big R Fly Shop. The Big R Fly Shop regularly puts out fly tying videos. Sometimes, I’m the tier. While I take fly tying very seriously, fly tying videos can be a little dry. We try to make them fun. Rob Guevarra is the man behind the the Big R Fly Shop monthly eMag. He is also the editor for our fly tying videos. Here is the latest. I’m calling this one the Flash Bang Intruder Fly.
I recently had dinner with April Vokey. She was in Great Falls, Montana for a presentation to the Missouri River Fly Fishers Club. April gave a truly fine presentation on steelheading and tied a great tube style intuder fly. April loves tubes and natural materials. She told me she is not fond of the new synthetic chenille stuff. She prefers natural dubbing brushes. Her flies are beautifully crafted with spun fur, marabou and rhea feathers. April did an excellent job of explaining why she likes tubes and how to tie on them.
I also like tubes and natural materials, but I’m still drawn to shanks and UV Polar Chenille and good old Flashabou. April would probably not like this fly, but that’s OK. Her flies are awesome and tied precisely for how and where she fishes. I’d like to think mine are as well.
There are several reasons I like shanks. One is that when tied with a non slop mono loop, I believe a shank has more potential for jig like motion than a tube. The best way to get your fly jiggy is to add dumbbell eyes. Dumbbell eyes can be added to tubes, but they look weird and since tubes are rigged on the leader, the jig like potential of the eyes is countered.
As with tubes, anglers can make several hook changes with the same fly. I often change hook size and style based on species and conditions and I always replace a hook after a few rock dings. Changing flies or hooks with tubes is easy, but it takes more leader material and a few extra moments to get the correct knot placement. While this is a minor detail, in the heat of battle, I can quickly tie on a new shank fly or swap a hook on the same shank loop.
The Flash Bang Intruder Fly is a simple utilitarian tie . I love beautiful spey flies like April Vokey ties, or Tom Larimer crafts or Stuart Foxall builds. Any time they are willing to pass some to me, I will gladly and confidently fish them. But when I’m on the vise, I will probably be rolling out something simple that catches fish, holds up to abuse and does not make me cry when a fish takes it into a root wad.