Matt Klara | Sunday, 9 September 2018
To me there is something about the lines of a well tied hairwing pattern that is both beautiful and fishy. The concept is well explored, but still lends itself to creative and attractive combinations of colors and materials. I think that is why this style of fly remains popular in modern steelheading. Every steelheader that I know enjoys tying and fishing them, especially in summer and fall.
A while back I was asked to contribute a couple of my steelhead fly patterns to be included in a new book called, aptly, Modern Steelhead Flies. Written and researched by Rob Russell and Jay Nicholas, and published by Stackpole Books, it’s available currently at awesome flyshops and by the usual internet means. You can even get it on Kindle! Being included in the book among so many truly great tiers is a humbling experience for me, and something I’m proud of. It’s even been getting some really good reviews despite my inclusion. This fly is one of my patterns included in the book. The Bluesbreaker.
Color was my inspiration for this pattern, and royal blue has always been a favorite color of mine. Blue is a common color among large leeches and other winter patterns, but seems to be overshadowed by black and purple in the hairwing genre. So, I created a royal blue hairwing pattern for myself and named it after British blues legend John Mayall’s band – The Bluesbreakers. I fish this bold, flashy pattern as a change in pace from the more somber dark summer patterns and find that it fishes best near the surface in slightly colored water and in low light conditions.
Hook – Daiichi 2052 Alec Jackson Spey, #3-7
Thread – UTC 70, red
Tail – Dyed golden pheasant tippet, red (shown), or other such as orange, chartreuse, or pink
Rib – Medium holographic silver tinsel
Body dubbing – blend of royal blue arctic fox tail fibers (to match wing) and Electric Blue Wapsi SLF Poul Jorgensen dubbing
Collar – royal blue rabbit fur spun into a dubbing loop and palmered, topped with 2-3 turns of teal blue saddle hackle
Wing – Royal blue Artic fox tail with 8-12 strands of Opal Flashabou Mirage