Friday, January 28, 2011

Tying the Skagit Minnow, great fly for Winter Steelhead

The Skagit Minnow is a simple, easy to tie and highly effective pattern for winter Steelhead all over BC. Not only does it require few materials, but it is easy to cast and because of the trailer hook, lots of movement and good hookups are the norm. I make these in a veriaty of colors and sizes but the same basic steps are used in all of these flies. You will need: Size 1 or 2 Octopus style Trailer hook, 30lb Dacron backing, Saddle hackle, 2 different Marabou colors, Chenille, Dumbbell eyes, Schlappen feathers, Krysal flash and a cheap hook to cut, or a 20mm Waddington Shank. Colors are up to you, I used florescent Orange Saddles, fire Orange and Pink Marabou, Pink Schlappen and Pink Chenille.

Start off with the Octopus Trailer, tie in 2 inward facing saddle hackles as the tail, kind of like a Deceiver fly.
Cut the tip off the Marabou feather, tie in and wrap forward until the eye of the fly. Add a few strands of Krystal flash and whip finish.

Fold the 30lb Deacron in half and thread it through the eye of the hook like a loop-to-loop connection. Make sure the 2 ends come of of the front of the eye.

Feed the Dacron through the eye of the other hook/shank and tie down on both top and bottom. Make sure the backing is tied in straight so the hook rides right side up and doesn't twist.

Make a ball of Chenille, tie off and add another Marabou feather of the same color. Tie it in against the Chenille ball and wrap forward.

Keep adding feathers until you are half way down the shank.

Add the 2nd Marabou color and some more Krystal flash. Wrap in a couple of Pink Schlappen feathers.

Tie a set of eyes on the bottom of the shank. Whip finish and glue. Krazy glue and Zap-A-Gap are what I use, keeps the fly together even after a few fish and rocks have ripped it up a bit. Piece of cake to tie, try it in olive or black for Bulltrout, Browns or whatever eats baitfish. A great fly for BC waters and an awesome fly for the Squamish river.


  1. Great Pics Thanks Guys, This is great for beginner steelheader like me!! Can't wait to fish with you in April.