Pattern Summer Steel Flies

Big E

Active Member
Tied up some summer steelhead flies. All are first time ties. Done with two sets and working a third.

Top L to R: Stillaguamish Sunrise, Admiral Hairwing, Purple Peril
Bottom L to R: Silver Hilton, Freight Train, Skykomish Sunrise

View attachment 28287
E.... What is that bottom middle fly.. I have begun to recently study Steelhead. Never fished for them yet. I dig that pattern!!! Chris

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Leland, mind sharing the when and how of fishing FAT? Do you fish them in summer because of their smaller yet fat profile, winter down deep, all of the above? I am printing your photo right now. Fat is good!

Big E

Active Member
Hatch....bottom middle is a pattern called a Freight Train.

Beautiful set of flies me something to aspire to.


Active Member
The Freight Train has been my favorite steelhead pattern ever since I first saw it. I have tied it in so many different permutations. (Randall Kaufmann had a good chuckle when I told him what I had been doing). I even tied five of them last night before I spoke at the Overlake FF Club meeting which they raffled away later in the evening.

My latest Freight Train is in my "Fat Family" of flies. The hooks are 1/0 Gammy "Split Shot Drop Shot." The size fly is #10. You gotta love tying big flies in miniature.

A few of my friends use them as a "closer" for summer steelhead. I use them all the time except when I go dry with Mike Sturza's Steelhead Muddler, which he ties on the same hook. In fact, the first time I saw the hook was at Mike's "Lost Creek Fly Shop" down in Onalaska.


As for winter fish, the jury is still out on the Fat Flies. I have been using the Fat Brat in low clear water when I'm the first through. I'll try to close with it the next time I get a pluck.