Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Stinger Missile Fly


Steel on the stinger missile...

During a winter storm in 2009, I concocted a fly for one of my first sessions ever swinging for steelhead. At the time, I was learning on a switch rod with a 510 Airflo Skagit Compact and I was tying and throwing some seriously heavy stuff. Needless to say, it was not pretty. On a late November outing, Adam and I did really well for ourselves. My fly was able to pick up my first ever fish on a legit two hander setup. The brown pictured below crushed it in a very fast section of water and I was hooked. The fly became my "go to" pattern for the next few years as I learned the ways of the skagit. I started calling it the "stinger missile," and it has still accounted for more steelhead from the Salmon River than almost all my other flies.




First on the swing...


A few stinger missiles ready for launch...


Materials List

Hook: Owner SSW Cutting Point in size 2 or 4
Shank: 1-1.5"
Trailing Wire: Senyo Intruder Large
Conehead: Spirit River Cross Eyed Cones
Tail: Magnum or Standard Rabbit Strip
Body: Crosscut or Bunnybou Rabbit Strip palmered with Spirit River Palmer Chenille in Pearl
Collar: Webby part of Schlappen
Eyes: 2mm Eyes of your choice...
Best colors: Black, Purple, Olive, Brown, Tan

Additional Materials: Dubbing, UV Torch, Loon UV Fly Finish



An old & cheap Mustad hook is used here for the shank...


Build a small thread base near the eye of the hook...


Any dubbing works here, I chose ice dub because it is easily picked out to ensure a perfect fit. 


Slide the cone forward. It should be a snug fit. 


Finish the fly...


Flip the cone upside down and fill with UV clear fly finish from Loon, Clear Cure Goo, or whatever you use...



Torch it...



Tie in Senyo intruder wire and secure with super glue...


Tie in magnum bunny strip. You can vary the length of the tail and the shank to increase or decrease the size of the fly. This is a rather small and short version. 



Cover the shank with some super glue and palmer the pearl palmer hackle with the crosscut rabbit... 



Cut the krystal hackle and make the last wrap with just the crosscut rabbit...


Tie in a collar with the webby portion of a schlappen feather and fill in the gab left between the rabbit and the conehead...




Attach eyes with super glue...



Use Sally Hansen Hard as Nails to further secure the eyes and protect the conehead...







A throwback skagit session with stinger missile in tow...

The fly needs to be fished with a heavier skagit setup because of the weight of the cone head and how waterlogged the rabbit gets. The larger the fly is, the slower it will sink because of the rabbit strip. You can also decrease the speed with which the fly sinks by using a magnum bunny strip for the tail or bunny bou for the body. This will increase buoyancy. Using a regular rabbit strip and crosscut, the fly will sink like a rock. Therefore, it needs to be fished in deeper pools and fast pocket water. I prefer to fish it broadside with some speed. The profile entices some vicious strikes to aggressive fish.

Good luck.


Adam with a beast of a brown that smashed a tan stinger missile...


Hens...


and bucks...


2 comments:

Justin Carfagnini said...

Very nice tutorial! A great looking fly, as well.

BKill said...

I dig that one ... I'll be stealing it.