While I have never really geeked on Ed Ward's Intruder and other various Intruder style patterns, they seem to have peeked my interest lately. It may have something to do with the fact that winter steelhead are working their way upriver and I have never hooked a fish on an Intruder style pattern. For a while I think I shyed away from Intruder style flies because it just seemed to be a big fad. You look at speypages and it's all every internet junkie ever talks about. It's borderline ridiculous! I know they hook fish because there is no way guys like Ed Ward, Scott O'Donnell, Mike McCune, and Scott Howell would fish them often if they didn't. In the winter months, I just have a hard time fishing anything but marabous and rabbit strip leeches. These flies just have a lot of movement and flat out work. There comes a point when it's time to try something different.

With many of my favorite coastal rivers blown out and rain in the forecasts for the next week, it's time to sit down and work on a few different Intruder style patterns. I have tied both shank and tube versions and both seem to swim well. Using various materials such as Amherst tail, ostrich, arctic fox tails, and marabou all add "life" to the these flies when swimming in the current. I've been trying to keep these somewhat sparse to give them a translucent appearance with maximum movement. Once the rivers drop and the conditions are right, these flies will get their opportunity. Hopefully some chrome lip piercing photos will soon follow!


Apocalypse Now, Steelhead said...

Nice Bugs Jason. What flies do you normally fish for winter steelhead down there? A friend from Arcata moved up here to Puget Sound and was surprised by the size of flies we routinely throw for steelhead. Are big flies not the norm in the same way down there?

Jason Hartwick said...

I fish anything from a #3 spey style fly like an Orange Heron to a 6" long string leech or Intruder/Shrimp looking thing. I would say that most of the time I use a 3" long string leech or big profile marabou in water with 3-6' of viz. Pretty much the same flies I fish in BC, Washington, or Oregon. Now the coastal guys on the Russian, Gualala, Garcia, etc.. typical fish #6-10 boss' and comets. Mostly tidal/estuary type fishing though, so I guess thats what they call for.