Palmering marabou

Jim Kerr

Active Member
Davey, duh, you dont cast a hot shot....just tie it on the leader or your spey rod then put the rod in the rod holder with the tip out over the water 12 feet or so. If thats not far enough you can use a side planer, don't forget the bell on the tip.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually Davy. You only need an 8wt to toss a hot shot. Key is to run straight mono on the reel and to a quick flip of the wrist (with plenty of line stripped out mind you) and away you go. ;)
Eggs, KwikFish, Jigs, bells, and casting HotShots with a fly rod...

While I am laughing my backside off, I won't rise to the bait, Fellas! :rofl:


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Don't laugh. Though I won't do that actually (since I do fish those methods, I use the correct rods for those purposes), I have seen guys who were flyfishing and switched to some "other methods" when they weren't catching fish. I have fishing rods for every situation (backbouncing, jigs, spey, single handed fly, spoon/spinner, mooching, etc), but there are people who just have to catch a fish on a fly rod.

Funny story that goes with it. I was fishing father's day weekend up at Fish Lake with my now Ex Father in Law and Brother in Law. We had our float tubes and were fishing fly rods. They were having no luck, but I was catching my share (not a ton, but had a few on, including one brown). Suddenly, my Father in law said "Fish on". Shocked me, since he never was much of a fisherman (though my exwife claimed him to be the king of fisherman). Next cast, he had another stocker fish. Finally, caught what he was doing. He had a jar of Pautzke eggs in one of his tube pouches. He started tipping his flies with salmon eggs. LOL. Made all the difference in the world with his "technique".
Good story and better point Jerry. The best fisherman catch fish with whatever resources are available to them including Hot shots and eggs.
For years I've used a "spun" marabou first shown to me by Dan Lemaich at the old Swallow's Nest (presently working at Creekside Angling). This fly is simply a few strands of Flashabou tied in to act as a mini-flashtail one-half inch beyond the marabou. I then spin on one nice marabou plume; tip first. This puts the longest part of the hackle at the front at the tie-off. Before tying off the head I add a collar of hen hackle. It has been a very productive fly for me for more than 15 years. It can be lengthened by sliding short marabou tubes on in front of the hook. This is listed as the Skagit Winter Fly in "Tube Fllies". I have found that the single plume,sparse and lively sinks quickly and swims enticingly with no added shank weight or lead eyes. I've never missed a hookup that I know of with this pattern.
Good Fishing,
Les Johnson
Les,the last time I went into creekside the guy behind the counter (could have been Dan) sketched me a marabou streamer on a scratch piece of paper and you just described it. I have had the best luck with a crystal flash tail, white marabou body, and a red saddle hackle collar. It is an extremely verstile fly. I have caught searuns with it in the salt and fresh water. I have also caught a dolly, juvenile resident silvers, and a pink salmon on it as well.
When retrieving a marabou fly, watch your speed. You may miss a fish because of speed. Also, shorten the tail if the trout are missing consistently, the tail maybe too long. The amount of marabou won't cause misses unless the tail is too long or you are retrieving or trolling too fast.

Hywel and Tightlines,
In my experience using a nice, full single marabou plume has plenty of attraction and always keels perfectly and swims enticingly. Since it is sparse a standard #2 Gamakatsu steelhead hook will serve to get it down without additional weight of any kind. Dan Lemaich (husky fellow with the remains of his hair tied in a pony tail) probably did sketch it out for you. Dan and I have fished the spun marabou from the Sauk to the Thorne (Prince of Wales Island) to upper McDonald Creek (Misty Fjiords, AK) and have taken steelhead (and lost a few as well) with this pattern. Spun marabous that have worked for us, all with a bit of Flashabou (your choice of color) for a flashtail are:
Black marabou/ Kelly Green hen hackle collar; Hot red/purple hen hackle collar; purple/red hen hackle collar; hot orange/flame orange hen hackle collar; shell pink/ hot pink hen hackle collar.
You can spin a nice marabou plume onto a one-inch length of small HMH plastic tube and slip it onto your leader in front of the fly for a longer dressing. It will still cast easily and sometimes helps in murky water.
One thing to remember when overpacking a hook with marabou is that it will sometimes not keel properly and tend to "slide" sideways as it swings without actually adding all that much attraction. A single plume never fails me. Some tiers put a ball of dubbing or a turn of chenille on the hook behend the marabou to keep it flowing out away from the hook.
Good Fishing,
Les Johnson
Thanks Les!

One of the elements of a sparser Marabou fly that intrigues me (and fish!) is the 'transparency' you can obtain from using fewer plumes - that, and the movement you alluded to certainly adds a more life-like quality to the fly.


Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
Palmering rabbit strips (zonker style) or rabbit fur in a dubbing loop can give a huge profile when needed, much better than marabou in my opinion. It is heavier to cast however.


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