Little box of horrors

These have been put to good use lately

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and a few of the cutthroat that my mediocre tying and presentation skills have “fooled”, notice the “keta rose” in its mouth
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Sea Run Clouser/simplest fly ever

Fly tying is an esoteric pursuit. One species affixing non local materials to metal implements judging them in a dry environment under unnatural light and then immersing them in water to try to temporarily obtain another species that sees colours differently and in a watery domain that changes the appearance of those colours. This is not quite but almost the height of inefficiency and is just another one of the abstruse things about humans in general and fly fishers in particular. Especially when one considers that it is not at all required to go to these lengths to catch a fish which some would affectionately refer to as “a brain stem with fins.” The direction that oval tinsel is wound on a lady caroline does not make one iota of difference in this world to a trout. But I digress, I still have several hundred sea run cutthroat patterns alone and even more fly tying materials. Sea run cutthroat flies all share one common thread, and that is simplicity, so on that note, here is one of the simplest and most effective salt water sea run cutthroat patterns that I know of.

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This fly like all great patterns is adaptable to local forage and season, and that is why it has come over from the east coast. Some sea run fly fishers prefer this pattern tied long, whereas I prefer it for sea runs quite short, small and sparse. Match it to local forage, for example candle fish/needle fish are quite long, but stickle back are quite small, this pattern imitates both depending on colour and length. Whatever you do tie it sparse.

Hook: Short shanked salt water hook of your choice, my preference is the SS series gamagatsu tin plated hooks in a size 10-12 but mustad or daiichi or whatever short shanked hook you can find will work.

Thread: White 6/0 or 2lb test mono

Eyes: medium brass to bead chain depending on water depth. I prefer the least heavy after hitting myself in the back of the head with brass eyes in the wind. This fly can be deadly on a windy day, not to the fish but to your health and safety.

Wing:(Remember this fly rides upside down)

Bottom: White polar bear/bucktail/goat/racoon/yak/synthetic (all are good) of your choice on the bottom, sparse and an inch to an inch and a half long

middle: a few strands of chartreuse or pearl krystal flash

Top: Chartreuse polar bear etc. sparse and an inch to an inch and a half long or length to imitate local forage

There are many colour variations both attractor and imitative. yellow/pink, red/white, olive/white, orange/brown, teal/white, and brown and white have all worked for sea runs in my experience.

This pattern in essence is an ultralight jig, is effective in salt and fresh water and will also take multiple species such as flounder, cabezon, coho, pinks, sculpin, rainbows, browns, dollies, the occasional chinook and of course the mighty sea run cutthroat. You can tie this wing as a beadhead pattern with a standard hair wing and it will still work. It is best to erratically strip this fly.

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