Inspired by two old steelhead patterns dating from as early as 1915. The Railbird and the Improved Governor, both were devised for use on California's Kalamath River by an old time fly dresser named Jim Pray. I borrow from each tie and add a spey style hackeling on the front portion of the body along with a flashy ribbing and claret collar. A wing of peacock herls is also a break from the old ties, I would hope old Jim would be pleased with my effort at keeping the pattern alive in the new century. The hopeful effect will be that of an attractor fly having greater movement when presented in clear water flows for trout and steelhead. Essentially this is a really nice Woolly Bugger.
Coopers Creek is a gin clear tributary to the Kenai river. I often wade the area below the confluance of the streams and have had good results with rainbow trout using both attractor patterns and flies more suggestive of small fish.
Detail of front body section;
Hook: Alec Jackson steelhead iron #3 nickle finish
Tag: Oval copper tinsel medium size
Tip: Very long, actually the rear half of the body. Claret floss ribbed with oval copper tinsel from tag.
Tail: A nice long Amherst pheasant crest feather
Body: The front is built thick with a dubbing blend of black, brown, and scarlet wool and picked out with the bodkin
Ribbing: Wide flat copper tinsel followed with a burnt goose shoulder feather Dyed brown and wound on as a spey hackle.
Collar: A very long fibered claret saddle hackle wound to be full and bushy.
Wing: A bunch (7-9) of peacock herl fibers gathered and tied in as a wing.
Cheeks: Jungle cock nails as eyes
Head: Tapered and lacquered black tying thread