Pattern A study on "The Precious" (pic heavy)

I hope you all will excuse this little exercise. It seems a bit self indulgent. But hey, this is the internet -- right?

Last month Cougar97 made a post about a fly he called "The Precious". This fly really caught my eye and sent me looking for the materials to tie up a few. What follows are some of the flies that I tied as I worked to refine my version of The Precious.

First effort was tied with more or less materials on hand. Guinea was substituted for the peacock hackle in the original. I did get some sparkly blue chenille at Sportsman's Warehouse one day at lunch for the body. I was not real happy with it, but it got me going. I call the first ones tied with the guinea "The Semi-Precious".

Anyway, here is my first try. Kind of a clumsy soft hackle thing with poor proportions and no wing.

Another version of The Semi-Precious, this time remembering to tie in the hair wing and switched to some finer tinsel.


I was able to run down the peacock feathers and the correct dubbing as well as some nicer hooks. Here is one of those. I still had not quite figured out how to work with this species of ice dubbing.

A little more work with the dubbing technique and finally one that was starting to look right. Those peacock feathers are pretty amazing. The coloring is spectacular. This fly is tied with a single blue feather as the hackle.

So now I was ready to try a larger hook and see how it turned out. Here is the fly on a 1/0 Alec Jackson Steelhead hook. This time I used two hackle feathers to try and jazz the coloring up a bit. One was very blue, the other more towards green.

I liked the proportion of the wing better here, but the hackle came out too heavy for my taste with the two full feathers. May have to try again with just a singe wrap of each color.

One of the keys for me for this fly turned out to be a surprize. That key thing was getting enough of the peacock ice dubbing as a thorax, and getting it picked out so that it blended with the feather. Getting that right seemed to pull the fly together nicely.

Thanks to Cougar97 for posting the original. If you missed the first time around it would be worth your time to scroll down a little ways the message list and look it over.

I will do some more tweaking and refining of the pattern with a new batch of peacock feathers. The first bag only had a few that were large enough for these hooks.

I have had fun working on this pattern. The exercise also gave me a good reason to work with my little point and shoot digital camera on some macro photos of flies in the vise and the with the photo editing software on the computer.

If you made it this far without getting annoyed at the post - thanks.



Ed Call

Well-Known Member
DD, great progression on "the precious". I'm sure that when you wet the "semi-precious" that it will catch fish too. I think two or three wraps of a single peacock breast feather makes the pattern colorful, light and lively. I tied some varieties for a G Lakes steelhead swap in the blue and also in purple and red. I agree that the synthetic ice dubbing is tougher to work with than natural fibers, but oh so sparkly. My first versions were not fully what I expected. When I field tested mine out at Chico Creek during the chum run I found it productive. Actually, when I hooked a nice fish on my first cast many around me were jealous and very interested in what I had tied on.

Cudos to "the precious" and Cougar97.
that is a great fly for sure...i have been wanting to tie some ever since Cougar posted it, and I finally got around to getting some of the materials I was missing. It is on the must tie list...

I really like it!!!!!! Yes the ice dubbing is a little difficult first few times, but well worth it. Funny story about this fly I was down on the Ronde and watched a well know "bobber/jig" guy stick 15 fish one day in October on a small blue jig I myself was skunked and pissed. Upon my way home I bumped into Leroy Hyatt at the Traditional Sportsman in Lewiston and he indicated he too was having luck with a blue fly.
The only dubbing they had was the steelie blue ice dubbing. Went home and tied some up with a black hackle and didn't really like it. I was digging through my hackles and found a few peacock neck feather and I just liked the way they turned blue green in the light. Anyway went back down to Heller Bar the next weekend and just killed em. Eight fish in two days, maybe just fresh fish, but I seemed to do better than others. I have used on three other trips to the Snake/Ronde and have always been successful.

I am glad all have enjoyed this pattern, I have yet to see anything like. I am proud to have introduced "The Precious" to fellow metalheads.

Tight Lines,

Here is the original "The Precious" good luck to all.


The gadwell version is also very nice. A different flavor to it than the first pic you posted, but the family resemblance in undeniable.

I've had a lot of fun with this pattern, thanks again for posting it. Now I just need to get out and fish it a bit somewhere, sometime.

Any tips that you care to share on how you are taking the photos? Your lighting really brings out the colors of the peacock.


I have very bright light over my tying bench and use the flash from my camera as well. The white background probably helps as well. Good luck with this fly, let me know if you find success.

Tight Loops,