Winters Hope Winters Hope


Heavy Wire Salmon
Flat Silver Tinsel
Turquoise followed by
Purple Hackle, Tied Full
Orange Over Yellow
Hackle Tips
Golden Olive Calf Tail

This winter steelhead pattern was developed in 1970 by Bill McMillan from Washougal, Washington. It's tied in large (LARGE, like 1/0-6/0!!!) sizes and is designed for fishing winter steelhead on floating lines. While this pattern may not be so productive on some of the clear West Michigan tribs, give it a go the next time you're facing cold water temps or poor clarity.

Step By Step:
Place your hook in the vice and attach thread around the middle of the return eye.
Cut your tinsel on a sharp angle and tie it in by the tip with the underside facing out.
Wrap to the rear of the hook, stopping well before the bend, with tightly butting wraps. Reverse direction and return to the tie in point. Tie off and trim the tinsel.
Prepare a turquoise blue hackle for the collar as shown and tie it in by the tip with the good side facing forward. Make sure you leave plenty of extra room at the head.
Fold the hackle and take 3-4 tight wraps forward. Tie off and trim.
Repeat the procedure with a purple hackle. If your having difficulty folding the hackle, try running the edge of your scissor blade down one side of the feather while holding it taught.
Your collar should look long and full like this. Before continuing, create a small path through the collar at the top of the fly for the wing. You can pluck or trim a few fibers if they won't cooperate.
Select matching pairs of yellow and orange hackles. Arrange them with the yellow pair on the inside and the tips carefully aligned. Begin stripping fibers off the stems, working from the bottom up, untill you reach your desired wing length.
Work the wing through the gap in the top of the collar and arrange it parallel to the hook shank. Notice h/w I've placed the hackle stems through the eye to help alignment. The wing should extend past the bend and be tied in at a rather high angle. If the wing wants to droop, try GENTLY lifting the wing and taking one wrap of thread behind and under the wing, being very careful not to crimp or bend the stems.
Trim the hackle stems. Select a very sparse clump of long golden olive calf tail for the topping. Just a couple of fibers will do. Tie them in so that they follow the upper edge of the wing.
Wrap a small neat head and coat with lacquer to finish the fly.
Tied By: Brian Doelle.