Does anyone have a steelhead hammer recipe?

gatortransplant

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I've tied it a number of ways, but the style I tied today used a woven wire body of chartreuse and dark blue/black wire. Weaving the body can be made easier with Uni-stretch thread rather than wire, or simply using a black wire or heavier thread body with an estaz abdomen. I've been tying the tail with pheasant tail fibers and using the same for the wing case, as well as tying back what is left of the fibers to create legs. However, most importantly, they do NOT need to be tied well to catch fish. I hooked a number of steelhead the other day on quite possibly the ugliest steelhead hammer ever tied, one of my earliest forays into tying a half dozen of which were still hanging out in my fly box.
 

gatortransplant

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I need to pick up some uni-stretch and I'll do a step-by-step of this pattern, as you are right regarding the lack of them on the interwebs. Now I just have to decide whether to use pheasant tail fibers vs. biots vs. hare guard furs, whether to add hackle, etc....
 

brookfieldangler

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I wonder if one really needs to weave the body on this fly...seems like it would work pretty well with just a simple wrap for the body.
 

gatortransplant

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Certainly you could wrap the body a single color or even just wrap the body with alternating wire of two different colors. However, I think you're then angling toward a different fly pattern, as the Steelhead Hammer, at least to me, has a woven abdomen. I would assume that the pattern would still work since it integrates what is essentially an egg pattern. Maybe I'll run some tests on the matter! Weaving the body does give practice for those woven czech nymph patterns however :p
 

brookfieldangler

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I kind of have a vision in my head that I am hoping to put tot he test tonight on the new vise.

basically it's a black vinyl rib twisted with a peacock herl and wrapped forward. Then, for the wing section, I am thinking a wrap or two of the estaz and then covered with another piece of herl - almost like you would do with the wing case on a prince nymph
 

jaybo41

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I did a quick google search and found this:

Steelhead Hammer – Darren MacEachern | The Daily Fly Paper Blog

I personally haven't tied these but have seen them tied both the way referenced in the blog and the way gator mentions. I have attempted to do woven flies and gave up out of frustration. LOL Kudos for those that can and do.

For steelhead flies in the Erie tribs, I try and do as many simple ties as possible with eggs and nymphs because you can easily rip through a dozen in two days or less. Those shale bottom streams have a tendency to keep flies. Not to mention I sometimes end up handing off a few flies to people I meet on the water. There are certainly patterns that require more time, like streamers or traditional salmon/steelhead patterns to name a few.

I mentioned this in the the other thread about steelie flies for GL tribs, subtle changes to a fly pattern can sometimes make all the difference in the world. Those fish see so many flies, sometimes its that difference that stands out. Other days, not so much.
 

cockatouche

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I think I would bake/stuff (sage stuffing) it with a little spritz of lemon. :)

Sorry, I didn't see the hammer part.
 

brookfieldangler

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So I sat down for a couple of minutes last night for my first attempt and my non-woven version. I was out of black vinyl rib, so I ended up using black sill leg for the main body, and a combo of silly leg and herl for the wing case.

Overall, it turned out OK but there are a few things that I learned

1. the silly leg tends to turn white as you stretch it when trying to wrap it.
2. The case needs to be a bit thicker I think to better match the original
3. The proportions are hard to hit on a size 10 egg hook
4. I suck at fly photos.

 

jaybo41

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I wouldn't hesitate to throw that brookfield! Looks good to me, nicely done.

To help with proportion of stones in general I read a good article once, I think on Hatches that gave ideas of building a better body. For stones, throw some non lead wire parallel to the shank of the hook and lash it down. Then wrap it with dental floss, and lash all that down. The key to stones is to get a profile that's wider than it is tall. That read has really helped me.
 
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