No excuses really, just getting a late start on winter fly tying. I have been doing a good deal of research on various patterns. Last year much of my tying was devoted to getting into closed-cell foam patterns, mostly for bass since bass have been my primary target the past couple of years. Recently I wanted to get back to tying trout flies and work my way through the western seasonal hatches, starting with the Skwala stonefly. In the West we are blessed with high gradient freestone rivers that are perfect habitat for many species of stoneflies. Where Skwalas are in abundance they have become a big deal for anglers who are itching to get back on the rivers in the spring. On some rivers they are the first solid hatch of the year of large insects.
The subsurface phase of the Skwala are adequately imitated by a Pat’s Rubberlegs, of which I have many. What I didn’t have were the adult (dry fly) version, specifically the egg laying females. The trout love to attack them as they lay on the water for an extended period depositing their egg sacs. Therefore, my first ties of the season is the bullet head Skwala dry fly.
I modeled the pattern after the Solitude Bullet Head Skwala.
- Hook – 2X long hopper hook, #8 & #10. (#12 would also be appropriate)
- Threads – Brown Uni 6/0 for tying in egg sac and body, yellow (UTC 140D) for bullet
- Egg sack – Black 2 mm foam
- Body – Light olive Superfine dubbing over base of black foam
- Wing – Light grey poly wing material
- Bullet head – Brown or natural elk hair
- Legs – Rubber legs
- Hot spot – Chartreuse foam
1 thought on “Better late than never…”
I’m in the same boat- putzed around a couple times at the vise, but haven’t got serious yet. It’s 20 here this morning, with freezing rain…so that may change.
Enjoy the skwalas!