Project Description

Screaming Banshee

Pattern Description: This is a fun little pattern I came up with last summer designed as a skating caddis pattern.  Modeled after some old time steelhead skater patterns, the Banshee features a forward facing planing wing that allows the fly to skate and skitter unlike anything else you’ve seen.  While it does indeed skate wonderfully, the wide profile and surface area provide fantastic flotation for a fly that will stay up all day.  The broad profile makes the fly sit low in the surface and even crosses over nicely for a cripple when fished dead drift in the shallow stuff right up on the bank.  This is a really fun fly to fish and can be tied in a bunch of colors to match the flavor of your local bugs.

Materials Needed: 

Hook: TMC 2487 #14-20
Thread: 8/0 Uni, to match dubbing
Forward Wing: Natural Yearling Elk Hair
Shellback: Leftover butt ends of forward wing
Abdomen: Small Opal Mirage Tinsel
Thorax: Superfine Dubbing
Wing: Natural Deer Hock

Step 1

Start the thread just behind the eye and make a thread base back to just short of the barb.  Return the thread to immediately behind the hook eye.  Clean and stack a small clump of natural yearling elk hair and measure it so it is a shank length long.

Step 2

Spin your bobbin to twist the thread into a cord so it will bite tightly into the hair before binding the forward wing in place right behind the hook eye directly atop the hook.  Anchor the hair in place with a tight, narrow band of thread.

Step 3

Lift slightly more than half of the remaining buts ends up and trim them off flush against the hook shank.

Step 4

Wrap back over the remaining butt ends to the bend of the hook.  Return the thread to just in front of the hook point, taking care to keep a smooth thread base over the hair.

Step 5

Tie in a length of Opal Mirage Tinsel where your thread hangs in front of the hook point.  Wrap the tinsel down the shank of the hook to the bend and then forward again to its starting point, forming a double layer body.  Tie off and clip the excess tinsel.

Step 6

Apply a tight, thin strand of dubbing to the thread and build an egg-shaped thorax that overlaps the front edge of the tinsel body.

Step 7

Cut, clean and stack a generous clump of deer hock and measure it so it is a shank length long.

Step 8

Clip the deer hock so it is exactly one shank length long and place the butt ends on top of the hook in front of the dubbed thorax.  The cut ends of the hair should almost touch the base of the forward wing.

Step 9

Place two wraps of thread over the butt ends of the deer hock and pull straight down on the bobbin to flare it in place.  Leave the thread hanging at the tie down point, do not move it out of the butt ends of the hair.

Step 10

Use the tips of your scissors and your fingers to divide the deer hair wing into two equal halves.

Step 11

Lift the remaining butt ends of the elk hair and pull them up between the divided wings.  These butt ends will help to further divide and splay the deer hair.

Step 12

Make two more turns over the butt ends of the elk hair directly atop the deer hair wing tie in location.  Pull down on the thread to flare the elk on top of the butt ends of the deer hair wing.

Step 13

Lift the butt ends of the elk hair and trim them even with the butt ends of the deer hair leaving a short brush as seen here.

Step 14

Lift the forward wing slightly, advance the thread forward to the front of the wing and build a small thread dam to prop the wing up slightly.  Whip finish and clip the thread.

Step 15

The bottom view of the fly shows the widespread wings, flashy abdomen and pronounced thorax.

Step 16

So pretty!