It is a smolt or fry pattern, great in spring but seems to work year round, in lakes and freshwater rivers too. It has been very successful for me in the salt. I have worked on this pattern for over three years of nearly year-round fishing for sea run cutts in the salt.
I fish it on floating lines with a long leader; 9-12 feet
Size 6 hook, Daiichi saltwater,
medium shank, crushed barb,(always).
I never use bigger or longer hooks for fear of injuring the sea-run cutthroats. In spring especially, some of the fish can be very small and quick to take a fly. When this happens I usually move, but I always use a small hook on my flies.
1/8" bright brass bead.
I also tie this in size eight,on a bronze or plated hook, with a smaller bead.
Mylar Holographic tinsel Body, two layers, and you can use a light wire rib if they are tearing them up.
Wing is Fox Squirrel Tail, (it seems to have the color they want. And that color is a lot like the immature salmon I see around here),tied sparse with 1/8" gap from back wraps to bead.
Two strands pearl crystal flash into each side of wing, and trimmed a bit long, even longer than the wing.
Collar over wing thread wraps, to fill gap behind bead, is peacock herl- tied in threes and roped into the thread ala Alec Jackson's style.
You can also use natural squirrel tail, silver bead, rainbow crystal flash- for silver effect of small baitfish.
Other variations can include; a soft hackle collar, peacock herl tip overwing, Ostrich herl collar, and other color combinations of dyed squirrel tail.
But I already did a lot of that and this is what I have found works best for me up here.
Sometimes the sparser the better. Especially in spring. I have had this fly get torn up so bad that all there is left on the hook is about ten or so hairs and a single strand of crystal-flash and a remnanat of the collar- and they are still biting the thing!
Sea-run cuuthroat are not short strikers. If anything they are inhalers. Don't concern yourself about trailing hooks or do anything to change this pattern. It is a doozy , as designed by Mr. Triggs. My only complaint is that Robert came out with it AFTER my new cutthroat book was published.
Nice tie! I don't put many beads on my Searun Cutt flies, since I would think that it creates a jigging action. I like using a floating line, but use my intermediate or type 6 line more often. I'll definitely tie up this pattern though!