We like hearing about what you, our readers, want to see more of on our blog. We want to give you what you want.. After all, it’s your interest that allows us to do what we love to do!
Therefore, we were excited when we received a comment last week from one of you, requesting a step by step on one of our favorite steelhead skater patterns. We listened, and today we present you with step by step tying instructions on a great looking and effective steelhead skater. Want to see more step by steps? Shoot us a comment below on what you’d like to see!
Thanks to Stuart Foxall for another great step-by-step!
Tying Steelhead Skaters – The Bulkley Bee
I learned an important lesson a few years ago while skating for steelhead. Sometimes we can get carried away, and fish far too large a fly for these fish. I was skating a large foam and deer hair tube with rubber legs that I was proud of and a steelhead grabbed it right in front of my eyes.. It shook the fly like a terrier dog and my line twanged back at me like a piece of elastic. The fish had taken insanely hard but the fly was sot large that the hook never even found it’s mouth.
From then onwards, I started fishing with a dry that caught my first skated fish, The Bulkley Bee. It’s pretty easy to tie and I only need to change the color and size to cover all eventualities. I have that much confidence in it, I don’t bother having other flies in my box. It sits pretty low in the water, more in it than on top of it like some of the usual skating flies. And for that reason I get far more confident takes than just bumps or rolls that miss the fly. Here’s how to tie it!
Some of my other favorite color variations can be seen in the photo above. I generally fish the black ones. However, if the fish rise but won’t commit, a smaller tan version usually “seals the deal!”
The best bit of advice though when fishing dry or skaters for steelhead is to have 100% confidence in the fly that you are swinging. You will not raise many fish if you are constantly changing and swapping flies. Your fly must be in the water! Have confidence and you’ll be surprised how far some of these fish will come to chase these small bugs!