Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fly Tying - Triple Threat Streamer

On my post about smallmouth fishing the other day, I mentioned that most of my bass were caught on a Triple Threat streamer. This has been one of the most consistent smallmouth flies for me, and I have had good success using these for trout as well.

I first heard of Triple Threats a little over a year ago while I was fishing around the Titusville, Pennsylvania area. My wife's family is from this area, and we try to visit a few times a year. One thing that I always look forward to is getting to fish Oil Creek and some of the surrounding streams in the area. Last year in May we went up for my wife's aunt and uncle's 25th anniversary party and stayed a few days. I took my fly rod with the hopes of catching one of the hatches that Oil Creek is famous for. However, when we arrived there had been several days of wet weather and Oil Creek was too high and muddy to fish. I went to the local fly shop, Oil Creek Outfitters, to ask if there were any other options since I wasn't familiar with many streams in the area. Mike Laskowski, the owner of Oil Creek Outfitters, gave me some advice on where to fish in some smaller streams that weren't as affected by the high water. He also was kind enough to show me how to tie the Triple Threat streamer, a fly pattern that he had originated. He explained that he named the fly the Triple Threat because it was effective on trout, bass, and steelhead. I feel like this fly will be effective on almost any fish that preys on small minnows.

PA brown trout on a Triple Threat - my introduction to this fly

What few fish I was able to catch on that trip were caught on these streamers, and I have had success with bass and trout both since then. I haven't personally caught any steelhead on these or anything else, but a trip to the Lake Erie tributaries is definitely on my list for the future!

Crappie like them too!

I wanted to give the background on this fly before I posted the recipe in order to give credit where it is due. I didn't want anyone to get the impression that this is an original design of mine, although it sure has helped me catch fish! If you're a fly tier give this one a try, I think you'll like it.

I apologize if the pictures aren't the best, this is one of my first attempts at photographing flies. Hopefully it will get better!

Triple Threat

Recipe and Instructions below the jump

Thread - 6/0 Color of your choice
Hook - Size 8 2XL Streamer Hook
Head - 7/16" Cone Head (Gold or Silver depending on body colors)
Body - 3 different colors of Polar Fiber

Step 1: Place a conehead on the hook and start thread behind the head. Wrap thread about 1/4 of the way back.

Step 1

Step 2: Select the color of Polar Fiber for the top of the fly, comb out the underfur, and pull out the longer fibers so that you are left with a clump of fiber approximately 2x the hook shank. Tie the Polar Fiber in facing the eye of the hook.

Step 2

Step 3: Select the belly color of the fly, comb out the underfur, and pull out the longer fibers so the length is the same as the top of the fly. Tie this in on the underside of the hook with the fibers facing the eye again.

Step 3
Step 4: Select the color for the middle of the fly, using approximately twice as much fiber as you did for the top or bottom. Comb out the underfur, and split the bundle into two equal parts. Tie this in on the sides facing the eye of the hook.

This is a front view of Step 4
Step 5: Whip finish the fly, tying the knot on top of the area where the Polar Fiber was tied in. Apply a drop of head cement to the thread, and clip the thread. Take a hair packer and use this to push the Polar Fiber up into the conehead, causing the fly to take on a tapered profile.

Step 5
Give the head cement time to dry, take it out, and catch fish!

For trout I like using a grey top, gold middle, and light tan belly. For smallmouth I have had success using a fly with a blue top, purple middle, and white belly.

Thanks for stopping by!

- Joseph

Disclaimer: I am not associated in any way with Oil Creek Outfitters other than being an occasional customer when I'm in the Titusville area, and I did not receive any compensation in any way for mentioning them in this post. I just try to give credit where I feel that credit is due.

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