Skagit minnow recipie with instructions

There is an old Skagit Minnow designed by the late, great Ken McLeod in the 1950s that was an effective attractor minnow for cutthroat and bull trout. I still use it. The recipe is:
Thread black
Hook: Any wet fly hook in sizes 6 and 8.
Body: Silver tinsel or diamond braid slightly tapered to the front
Back: Several strands of peacock herl. Tie in the tips slightly longer than hook length for a tail and pull the rest over the back and tie off at the front.
Head: A couple of turns of small, black chenille

There may be other Skagit Minnow patterns that I don't know about. This one however remains pretty effective.
Good Tying,
Les Johnson


Active Member
I think that if you can visit All About The Fly in Monroe when Mike Kinney is there he will demostarte how to dress it. I believe this is the fly you are asking about.

Willie Bodger

Still, nothing clever to say...
Yeah, what he said. However, isn't it mainly 2 grizzly hackles, flash and marabou (doubled over and palmered) on the stinger hook then more marabou doubled and palmered on the front hook topped off with a few strands of flashabou and then a collar in an accent collar? Just in case you can't get in to see Mike...


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Thanks Les, I've used that fly a lot. Couple of years ago got into some cutts in a small north sound river in march. Lots of outgoing chum smolts in the river at the time luckily I had some of those in a box. Really don't know if they where just coming in or if they where fish that wintered over in the upper river. But they were nice fat bright fish not too big around 10 inches to alittle over a foot but it was fun catching those until the river closed.
The one I am looking for is the one described by Davy and Willy, I have found a recipie but still looking for more detailed instructions. But since I'm not going anywhere today since work called earlier and I have a snow day I'll play around with it and see what I can do.

Thanks for the help.


Active Member
The "new" Skagit Minnow is a steelhead fly (someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's a Mike Kinney pattern. Personally, out of respect for Ken McLeod's fly, I think it should have been given another name.
I stand corrected gentlemen. I thank you for prompting my old memory back into service. Mikes' is the new Skagit Minnow. So, I guess if we follow Roy Patrick's old system from his "Northwest Fly Patterns" we should number them 1 and 2.
Now that I think of it, we sold some of Mike's Skagit Minnows in black and purple at Orvis last winter. Anything designed by Mike is usually a pretty darned good pattern.
Good Fishing,


Active Member
well, it may not be Mike's way, but the way I tye a similar fly is;;;

I lay in a small ball of dubbing at the rear followed by 4 or 5 turns of cock hackle the lay in the grizzly hackles on each side. The turns of cock hackle help support the grizzly hackle tips. Then I pretty much finish the rest of the fly as a standard wrapped marabou pattern similar to Aids original. Some but , not alot, of flash can be tyed in between wraps of marabou. Collars can be your choice of materials . I like peacock breast, or dyed schlappen to match desired color scheme.

Will Atlas

just tie an articulated marabou with grizzly hackles coming out the back and a stinger. I've seen some with dumbell eyes, and others without. I dunno, but it seems to me coining a name for a marabou with hackle tips coming out the back is a little silly. All the same, I fish articulated marabous all the time and have good luck with them.
The way I tie mine I start with just the back hook, a #2 winter steelhead hook of your choice. Tie in the stinger hook attached with 20lb maxima first. What I like to do for these is tie a knot in the maxima and tie the not in about half way up the shank of the lead fly, this way the stinger hook wont slip off when you hookup. Once you've secured the stinger, tie in your hackle tips (most folks prefer girzzly or some dyed grizz) so they come out the back over the top of the stinger hook and swim nicely when the fly swings. Now tie whatever color marabou you want onto the hook, using a palmering techinique like one would do for any marabou steelhead fly.

Then connect the back section via dachron loop to look to another #2 winter steelhead hook. Use the same technique, tie a knot about halfway up the dachron and tie it down to avoid slippage. You now have a singer hook attached to the back half of an articulated fly with grizzly hackles coming out the back. Now tie your marabou to the front hook just as on the last, although I generally use two colors of marabou on the front and only one color on the back its up to you. Finish the fly by tying in the eyes (or not) and wrapping on a collar, gadwall, guinea or I think mike actually uses schlappen. Anyway, I know the instructions are a little unorthodox but its a super easy tie and it catches fish.


Active Member
I think coining a name for a fly pattern or even naming a fly such as something tyed from marabou or such, even more so if it's a simple color alternative or scheme,, is way beyond silly.

As I remember it, most of ALL these spun marabou patterns come from Bob Aid, but do we really ever see his name mentioned? Those of you with annual back dated NW fly pattern manuals can research this as well.

Having said that , Mike is if not THE , then certainly one of the best fishers of these searun fish around here I have ever known or known about. I also believe others "named" or "coined" the fly for Mike, not Mike himself. Maybe I am wrong too.

I wrote all this knowing this thread is about to take a turn for the worse , why I try to avoid this crap.
I was out at AATF yesterday after trying to fish and talked with Mike. He said someone had come in and asked about tying the Skagit minnow. Was that you Headburner? Anyway, we talked about the visibility, fluorescence and how some dyes were not really fluorescent even if they said they were, Skagit style, some of the threads popping up on the site, tying on marabou, weighted lead wrapped flies, variations of GP’s, guides and wannabe guides, UV and a bottle of $2 fingernail polish vs $6 head cement. So, all said and done and Mike hands me the fly he was tying. Not even knowing what it was, I was just grateful and thanked him. Then I read this thread and realized it was a Skagit minnow. Wasn’t thinking too much about it as it was so very similar to a lot of what I’ve been tying, mine have more rabbit and marabou tied in like a hackle at the head. No flash or grizzly. So I search for images and came up with these. Since it is way too cold to fish (at these temps, lines freeze to guides to quickly to even play a fish) and then there is trying to get around all the idiots on the road, I’ll be staying home and tie more flies.



Active Member
Looks like a lot of variation in this pattern so whatever I come up with should be good to fish. I'll try the articulation type and what Davy tied and go from there. I did spend hours last night looking for one no complete instructions but the ones Matt had posted I found, and I found a lot of places that were new to me.

Just for curiosity here, is Mike a great big dude with a beard who's always spey fishing up on the Skagit? I think I might have talked to him up at Swift creek a couple of years ago.

But again thanks for all the feedback, much appreciated.


Active Member
Don't get down to Monroe that often. Nice shop went there once, next time I need a bunch of stuff I'll head down there maybe. Cept' really hate the traffic past Marysville.