Basic Steelhead Flies: The Boss/Comet
If you thought last week's Green Butt Skunk was easy to tie, this time around we are going to whip up another steelhead fly that's even simpler to construct. What pattern could this be? The Boss! Along with the Comet, (pictured above) these two similar patterns are both productive and extremely popular among west coast steelhead anglers. The designs are not only simplistic, but they also lend themselves well to experimentation. There's many variations of these flies with differing colors, materials, etc, and below I'll tie such a variation of the famous Boss steelhead fly.
Hook: Tiemco TMC 7999 #4
Eyes: Black bead chain
Tail: Black bucktail
Body: Dark Purple Chenille
Ribbing: Small Flat Silver Tinsel
Collar/Wing: Black Hackle
1.) Wrap a quick thread base and tie-in the bead chain eyes leaving a touch of space between them and the hook eye. If you want, lead wire can be wrapped and secured to the body now as well, but for this fly we are skipping this added weight.
2.) Tie in a length of black bucktail at the rear. The tail is often tied somewhat long on these flies, so for this one I'm making mine about as long as the hook shank.
3.) Tie-in the tinsel at the rear, then tie-in the chenille at the same spot.
4.) Wrap the chenille forward stopping just shy of the eyes so there's a little sliver of space to wrap the hackle later. When wrapping the chenille, I took a few extra wraps on the front half of the body to form some slight taper. Secure it and snip off the excess.
5.) Wrap the tinsel forward over the chenille and tie it off just behind the eyes. Like many flies, I like to wrap the tinsel around the body 4 times.
6.) Strip off the fluffiest part of the hackle and tie in the feather by the stem. Wrap the hackle behind the eyes until you reach the desired profile and thickness. For this fly, I went around 4 times. Tie it off and clip off the excess feather. Adding a drop of glue/cement here wouldn't hurt.
7.) I now like to hold back the hackle fibers to keep them out of the way and wrap the thread a few more times behind the eyes. This helps to "organize" the hackle fibers and locks everything in more securely.
8.) Bring the thread through to the front of the eyes, whip finish, apply glue/cement, and that's it. This fly takes only a few minutes to tie which makes it a great pattern for novice fly tyers! Now go chase some chrome!