When it comes to tying large-profile intruder-style flies for steelhead and salmon, one of the most difficult part of the whole process is finding materials of consistent quality.
Ostrich herl in particular, a material used in many steelhead and salmon flies, varies quite a bit in terms of quality and can be frustrating to the fly tyer not willing to open up 15 or 20 packages of plumes on the fly shop floor to find the right feather. Plus, even plumes of good quality are often longer than needed for most intruder flies, creating a lot of wasted materials.
Well, last year our friends over at OPST released their Signature Intruder Plumes, an ostrich plume actually selected with intruder-style patterns in mind. We finally got our hands on some this summer and we think they’re a game changer.
Unlike the standard ostrich herl that most tyers are used to, the Intruder Plumes are actually a different feather called a drab. What does that mean? According to the boys at OPST, it means a plume that is stout at the base but very fine at the tip, and short enough that both ends can be incorporated into the fly. In other words, just about everything you want when spinning up intruders.
Plus, the plumes are available in a whole bunch of awesome barred and dotted colors, creating a great contrast to your flies that simply wasn’t possible before. Not to mention, out of all the packages we opened (which trust us, was quite a few) we were hard pressed to find a plume that wasn’t of the highest quality.
If you’re like us and like to tie intruder style flies for anadramous fish, we highly recommend giving the OPST Intruder Plumes a try. Each package contains two plumes per pack and retail for $12.95. For more information, check them out at OPST’s website, or visit your local fly shop.