Dead Chickens

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Jack Devlin, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +960 / 1
    IMG_0598.jpg View attachment 20459 IMG_0282.JPG IMG_0261.JPG IMG_0269.JPG View attachment 19850 Some time ago, Doug Rose mentioned the "Dead Chicken" fly in his blog. I got a kick out of the name and while looking through Trey Combs's book the other night I came across the fly. I had to tie up a few. Although intended primarily as a Sea Run Cutthroat pattern it is similar to a few Steelhead patterns out there. Kind of reminds one of a Knudson's Spider too. Quick, easy, and fun to tie.
    Anyone ever use it?
    Jack
  2. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,461
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    An old pattern of mysterious origin and an old favorite of mine. The first large cutthroat I ever caught (over 19 inches) was on a Dead Chicken.

    Attached Files:

  3. TD Active Member

    Posts: 738
    North End
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    I've tied these since I was a little kid. I never knew the name. My Dad just told me they were good for cutthroat because they had yellow and red. A few years ago my brother and I were heading to a local lake that is known to have cutthroat in it. We hadn't fished it since we were kids. We used to walk-in with our dad. We would bungee cord his jon boat on a set of wheels that he had secured to a 2x4. We'd pile our gear in there and then pull that thing into the lake. Anyway, I told Dad that we were going in there and he said, "you gotta use a yellow fly! Cutthroat like Yellow". I took a few minutes and sat down and quickly tied up a handful of these that I remembered from a kid. When we got the lake we were going through the ritual of selecting the fly to tie on. I told my brother, "Dad said to use a yellow fly". He said, "I don't have any YELLOW FLIES. I said, "here, one of us should try one of these. I tied them up just before we left". We caught more dang fish on those flies that day! They were getting torn to pieces and we still caught fish on them. Now whenever we go fishing and cutthroat are a possibility we look at each other and say, "I'm gonna use a YELLOW FLY. You gotta use a YELLOW FLY". When I use them in the rivers for Searun Cutthroat I always add a dark colored soft wing to them. I don't know if it makes any difference or not, but I like them and that in itself MAKES them better.

    Attached Files:

    JesseCFowl, Jeff Dodd and wadin' boot like this.
  4. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I was using this fly tied with an olive butt when I caught my very first Sea-Run Cutthroat (just happened to be my first fly caught fish and first WA fish as well!). It's great to finally be able to put a name to the pattern.
  5. Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Posts: 606
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +43 / 0
    Jack, Steve Knapp tied the Dead Chicken in our historic Sea Run Cutthroat Swap last fall. It is a great pattern and I have caught many November fish on this pattern. Thanks for sharing buddy!
  6. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +960 / 1
    I knew I saw the name somewhere but couldn't remember. Thanks Steve.
    Jack
  7. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    It was good to meet you at the beach today Jack! Too bad the silvers weren't showing any love to the dead chicken.
    Hope you had some luck after I left.
  8. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +960 / 1
    Pattick,
    Nice to meet you today. I really liked your version of the Dead Chicken. It would be great if you would post a photo of it. I'm going to try tying one up tonight. A bunch of fish did move in shortly after you left. I had a silver on briefly (very briefly) and that was it. They just weren't in a biting mood. Don't know where the cutts were today??????? See you again. Good fishing!
    Jack
  9. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Glad to hear there was a little excitement! It was getting a bit frustrating seeing them jumping all over around that corner; nothing I had on me worked. Time to hone in on cutthroat again I suppose.

    I use STS dubbing in the body and UV ice dub for the wing on my Dead Chickens. The pic of that other fly I showed you is down there too, it's sort of a play on a Female Coachmen. Don't forget the holographic mylar horns!

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
  10. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +960 / 1
    At the risk of beating a dead chicken to death, it occurred to me that the original Dead Chicken pattern (as far as I know) called for grizzly hackle. So, can we still call your Dead Chicken a Dead Chicken?:)
    Jack
  11. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'll probably just keep calling it a Dead Chicken. I hooked a few today so I don't think the fish have figured out that I'm tying it wrong yet!
  12. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,461
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    Call it what you will but, it seems to me, changing the body material, color of hackle and adding a colored butt or a wing pretty well constitutes a new pattern. Calling it a Dead Chicken only causes confusion.
  13. kelvin Active Member

    Posts: 2,015
    Seattle,WA
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    you could call it the Half Dead Chicken
  14. Hillbilly Redneck wishin i was fishin

    Posts: 421
    Whitehorse Mt.
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    I used to fish the Dead Chicken all the time for sea runs. For some reason I haven't tied any up in quite a few years. Probably because I got turned on to reverse spider. Spruce Fly and Thor are other patterns I haven't fished in a long time but they all work.
  15. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Alright, in light of recent posts I dub the yellow pattern pictured above the "Half Dead Hen".
  16. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
    Ratings: +960 / 1
    Pattick,
    I was going to suggest "Green Butt Fryer".
    :)
    Jack
  17. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm still playing around with the green butt pattern; not sure I want to think about a name until I'm happy with it. I like "Green Butt Fryer" though, that's pretty catchy!
  18. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,486
    Seattle, WA
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    I was thinkin' "Dead Chicken Parts." I understand the pattern works well as crab bait, too.

    D
  19. kelvin Active Member

    Posts: 2,015
    Seattle,WA
    Ratings: +288 / 0
    how about Best Of Fryer
  20. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,654
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0
    Old timer I know told me just the other day that the best fly for the creek we ran into each other on was a "Gray Hackle Yellow." Later, after we went our separate ways, it got me to wonderin' if he wasn't referring to a Dead Chicken. Or was it a pattern with a grizzly hackle, peacock herl body, and yellow tail? Dang! I always thimk of these questions after its too late to ask!

    Almost forgot:
    Jackd, those Dead Chickens of yours look like they could give some former fingerlings a good lickin". Nicely done!