Bootleg Fly: Green Butt Purple Skunk vs. Silver Hilton
Well, we set our clocks forward, the days are getting longer, March Madness is nearly upon us, and spring is in the air. All this, of course, means summer steelhead aren't far behind.
I'm still inspired by mash-up DJs and bootleg fly patterns, and longing for some summer steelhead action, so I decided to combine two of my favorite low water summer patterns. A little Green Butt Purple Skunk, a bit Silver Hilton, this fly is absolutely wicked on the greased line swing.
I've always loved the grizzly hackle tip wing on the Silver Hilton. It's such a severe, sparse fly, yet these long, dramatic wings bring a graceful, rich, and sweeping quality to it. I always use Diamond Brite dubbing for the butt on this fly because it just adds a little something else to the mix, something that pedestrian chenille can't hope to provide.
Underwater, the two stately hackle tips hold forth. They gyrate, flow, and tantalize (if you haven't seen it, get a copy of Lani Waller's original steelhead tapes and watch him fish the Silver Hilton with great success).
When I fish the Deschutes in August, I like to carry a whole box of these in addition to a full array of summer Spey and Dee patterns, as well as a whack of caddis and stonefly adults. It's a smallish Wheatley box. I keep it in my left chest pocket next to a tightly rolled Ramon Allones and beneath a small nip flask of Bullet.
I can't wait for the dog days.
The Green Bootie Purple Hilton >>
Hook >> Tiemco 7999SP, sizes 8-4
Thread >> Wapsi UTC Ultra Thread, 210 denier, red
Bootie >> Spirit River Diamond Brite Dubbing, caddis green
Ribbing >> Wapsi UTC French Oval Tinsel, medium, silver
Body >> Spirit River Angora goat dubbing, dark stone
Collar >> Spirit River Schlappen, purple
Wing >> Matched Keough grizzly hackle tips
Maybe the dog days aren't here yet, and we may not have a summer run for a few months, but in the meantime, here's a little something from DJ Axel, Hova, and GNR to carry you through... (Axl Rose's white leather get up is so rad).
Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com