Saturday, April 7, 2018

Fly Tying- The Sunken Fox

The Sunken Fox Fly

Steelheading in the Great Lakes,  especially "Steelhead Alley" can provide tough conditions at times throughout the season.  The past few falls have provided very low and clear water and that seems to be the new "norm".  Trying to swing modern flies in low flows is a challenge as they are too big, too flashy, or too heavy.  I could see steelhead chasing shiners, but the flies that were in my box did not fit the bill.  Later while on a small trout stream swinging soft hackles in low clear water the building blocks for this fly began.  I wanted a fly that had a little weight, a touch of flash, was the right size, and just the right amount of movement.  Combining the productivity of a soft hackle and materials from a Scandi birthed a small swinging fly that can be fishing on a floating line as well as with a sinking tip.  

Although originally designed for Steelhead Alley the Sunken Fox has produced equally well for trout and warm water species.  The color design here is Emerald Shiner, but black and blue, red and black, tan and white, or silver and white all are must haves in your fly boxes.  Give this fly a shot when you find those low and clear conditions on any water you fish.  

Ryan Ratliff- April 2018

Sunken Fox Fly Recipe:

Hook: TMC 7999 #4-8  Click Here
Thread: GSP 100  Click Here
Body: Ultra Wire size Large in contrasting colors  Click Here
Thorax: Ice Dub  Click Here
Prop: EP Foxy Brush  Click Here
Wing 1: Arctic Fox in Dubbing Loop  Click Here or Click Here
Wing 2: Coq de Leon Hen Saddle  Click Here
Cement: Loon UV Thin  Click Here

1. Place your Salmon Iron hook of choice (here TMC 7999) into vise.

2. Using GSP 100 lay down a single layer of thread.

3. Pull off a few inches of Ultra Wire in contrasting colors (here green and silver).  Tie in both wires on the top of the hook shank. 

4. Wrap both colored wires together side by side progressing up the hook shank.

 5. Tie off the wires 3/4 up the shank.  Make sure to lightly cover your wire ends with thread carefully.  These ends are very sharp thus the reason for the GSP.

6. Dub a large ball of Ice Dub (here Olive Brown) at the end of the wire wraps.

7. Tie in a section of EP Foxy Brush 1.5 (here Olive Brown) and carefully wrap under tight pressure.  

8. Continue for three wraps making sure not to trap any material.

9. Tie off the brush and cover the wire core ends with thread.

10. Create a Dubbing Loop right off the end of the Foxy Brush.  Place a clump of stacked Arctic Fox in the loop and evenly disperse the fibers. 

11. Using a dubbing spinner carefully spin the dubbing loop to make a brush with the fox.  

12. Wrap the dubbing loop around the hook shank in the same fashion as the Foxy Brush.  Three of so wraps will be good.  Tie off the dubbing loop and trim the extra. 

13. Select the appropriate sized Coq de Leon Hen Saddle (here in Chartreuse).  Holding the feather by the tip and with the concave/underside away from you strip off the left dies of the feather. 

14. Tie in the feather by the tip and wrap the stripped side around the shank right against the Arctic Fox wing.

15. Tie off the feather and whip finish the head.  

16. Coat your thread and the stem of the wrapped feather in Loon UV Thin resin.  Hit the resin with your UV torch and you're finished.

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