Fly Tying: Learning to Tie The Flash N’ Grab Streamer Pattern

Fly Tying Learning to Tie The Flash N’ Grab Streamer Pattern

The evolution of a fly can come from several angles. Sometimes we create something brand new to fill a niche that lacks a proven pattern. Sometimes we take tried-and-true materials from established patterns and combine them in new ways. Often, we see a fly or find a successful pattern, and we tweak it or change the platform it’s tied on to something we like better. The Flash N’ Grab is a little of each—it’s a bit new, a little bit tried-and-true, and it’s tied on a newish platform. 

The New

There are lots of flies out there using Flashabou or Kreelex Mylar. What I visualized with the Flash N’ Grab is a fly that has a little more profile and a little more movement than other patterns. By layering the Flashabou in varying lengths over other materials, the profile is balanced and increased movement is achieved. 

The Tried and True

Flashabou is a tried-and-true material. Tie some on a hook with nothing else and you’ll find a fly that catches fish. As a kid, I remember picking bits of Mylar off the Christmas tree and tying them onto an Eagle Claw bait hook with sewing thread. The first time I saw an established fly pattern using Flashabou was on the Flash Fly. The Flash Fly is basically a wing of Flashabou finished off with a saddle hackle. It has proven to be a deadly fly for silver salmon and many other species. 

The Platform: Jig-Style Hooks

I love jig-style hooks. They have become my favorite platform for tying small-to medium size streamers. Combined with dumbbell eyes, the hook rides upright, which makes it more likely to bounce over rocks and other hook-dulling and snaggy obstructions. It grabs fewer weeds, too. And it hooks more fish than other hooks. And when it hooks a fish, it most often does so in the roof of the mouth, versus in the tongue. So far I have not found a downside to the jig-style hook.

The Standard Recipe

Get Creative with It

As with most patterns, substitutions are fine. Use different eyes. Try a 60-degree jig hook. Change the size to suite your needs. Use a different body material. I look at the Flash N’ Grab as a concept fly; you can play with it and make it your own.

The color combinations for this pattern are almost unlimited. Black and copper or black and red are dark-day favorites. Silver, gold and copper are hard to beat on sunny days or anytime the streamer bite is going strong. Green over rainbow with a pink collar triggers the anger in browns. You can try a variety of colors for the rabbit collar. Hot orange, red, pink or yellow adds a spot of color that makes the fly pop. You can use Kreelex instead of Flashabou or even do a mix of both. You get the idea. I just thought of five more color combos I want to try. Have fun with this one. I’m heading back to the vise to play with these combinations and dream about what I might catch next on this killer fly.

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I fly fish to live (25+ years guiding). I live to fly fish (obsession). At the age of two, I captured my first Bluegill in Southern Michigan. Since then, I have never stopped looking into waters for fish. My first wild trout came from the waters of Glacier NP a few years later. I spent much of my youth chasing fish in Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and throughout central Canada. I went to Alaska in 1989, where I met my wife, started a family and spent 26 seasons guiding anglers. Great Falls and the North 40 Fly Shop are now home base. Stop by and lets talk fish, bear encounters or even my experience with Bigfoot.
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