Project Description

Dirty Hippy, Craven’s

Pattern Description:

So, I know you’ve all been waiting for this one, mostly because I am very intuitive and in tune with the wants and needs of fishermen in general, but maybe all those emails, phone calls and Facebook messages put me over the edge. At any rate, here is my latest streamer pattern: Craven’s Dirty Hippy. I first started developing this fly after a trip to the Missouri River in Craig, Montana. I fished with the folks from Rio Fly Lines and the guides from Headhunters Fly Shop there in Craig. We had a great time on a beautiful river and I learned a lot about their little piece of the world. Mark Raisler is a spectacular guy and great fun to spend a day on the water with. He has a way of making you look good through no fault of your own, so if you get a chance to head that way be sure to look them up. It was on this trip that I started to appreciate streamer patterns that went a little beyond the usual Wooly Bugger variations and branched into more sparsely tied, realistic small fish profiles. It seems the trout in the Missouri like flashier streamers than I typically tie, and often times, the patterns we had the most success with were pretty slim, easy to cast type affairs rather than the usual big hunk of meat slammed into the bank. It makes sense in hindsight, as the Missouri is a big river and you’re often fishing out in the main current with a full sink or sink tip line, swimming your flies much more slowly than usually done down here in Colorado. To that end, I promptly started playing with streamer patterns of this ilk upon my return home and the final result is now known as the Dirty Hippy. The name is garnered from my new wife, a tree huggin’, liberal minded not-really-so-dirty Dirty Hippy. She’s turned out to be good for my conservative side and the fly has turned out to be good for my soul…tie some up and see what it does for you.

Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 5263 #4

Thread: 3/0 Tan Danville Monocord

Cone: Large Copper Brass Cone

Weight: .025 lead

Flash: Gold Flashabou, Copper Flashabou and Pearl Flashabou

Belly: Cream Arctic Fox Body Fur

Wing: Tan Marabou

Collar: Bonefish Tan Arctic Fox

Face: UV Tan Ice Dubbin

Eyes: Adhesive Holographic Eyes, 3/16″, Gold.

Adhesive: Tear Mender

Marker Barring: Sepia Prismacolor Marker

Step 1

Begin by placing the cone on the hook and chucking the hook in the vise. Make six turns of lead wire in the center of the shank and break the ends off cleanly. You can weight this fly more heavily if needed, but it’s tied fairly sparse on purpose to aid in the overall sink rate.  Start the thread behind the lead wraps and overwrap the lead with a layer or three of thread. You don’t need to cover the lead but you do want to anchor it in place. To this end, I build a thread dam on either end and wrap cross-hatched turns over the lead wraps.

Step 2

Slide the cone back to the front of the lead wraps and jump the thread from the lead to the front of the cone. Make several tight turns of thread around the shank at the immediate front edge of the cone, then cross the thread back and forth over the cone from the front to the back several times to anchor it in place.  Wrap a thread base all the way up to the hook eye and back to the front edge of the cone. Apply a coating of Sally Hanson’s or Clear Cure Goo Hydro to the thread wraps on the lead and the back of the cone.

Step 3

Place four to six strands of each color flashabou (gold, copper and pearl, all about eight inches long) into a bundle and tie them in at the center of their lengths in front of the cone.  Let the thread twist them around the shank to distribute them evenly and manually manipulate them so they spread all the way around if need be.

Step 4

Draw the front ends of the flash back and place several tight turns of thread over them up to the base of the cone so they spread out around it, like this. The ultimate length of the flash should be just a bit longer than two shank lengths and have staggered ends, that is, should not all be cut square to the same length.

Step 5

Clip a small clump of cream fox fur and remove ALL the underfur leaving only the longer hairs. This clump should be at least a shank and a half long. Lay the fur in along the far side of the shank with the butt ends just in front of the cone.

Step 6

Make two soft turns of thread over the butt ends of the hair…

Step 7

…and let the thread pull the hair to the bottom of the hook as you tighten the wraps.

Step 8

Sweep the hair back along the underside of the hook shank and wrap a clean thread band securing the butt ends.

Step 9

Select a nice, soft blood marabou feather and strip the fibers from the butt end to where the stem becomes smaller.  Clip the tip out of the feather by severing the center quill about a half inch from the base of the fibers.

Step 10

Bundle the marabou feather up as shown here and tie it in flat on top of the hook.

Step 11

The tips should extend back just past the end of the flash.

Step 12

Pull the butt end of the center stem back and anchor it down once more. This thin stem tends to pull out later if you don’t fold and anchor the feather stem like this.

Step 13

Clip the remaining stem flush.  Cover the butt ends of the marabou feather with a smooth thread base. Wrap a thread base to the hook eye and back again about halfway.

Step 14

Cut a clump of tan fox fur from the hide and pull out the densest underfur at the base, but leave some of it the longer stuff in. We want to create a bit of bulk on the head here. Measure this clump so it extends back to about the hook point.

Step 15

Press this clump of fur down around the hook shank so the hook lies in the center of the bunch.

Step 16

Make two loose turns of thread around the fur…

Step 17

…and let the thread distribute the fur around the shank as you tighten them. Again, manually distribute the hair evenly if needed.

Step 18

If you did the previous step correctly, you should have to make two cuts to remove the butt ends; one on the top of the hook and another on the bottom.

Step 19

Cut the butts as close to the shank as you can and wrap over them to the back edge of the hook eye.

Step 20

Draw a clump of the Ice Dubbing from the package. You want to try to get this clump aligned so that most of the fibers are going the same direction.

Step 21

Lay this clump over the top of the hook in a sheet with the center of the clump even with the hook eye.

Step 22

Pinch and fold the Ice Dubbing down around the shank so it is covering the top and both sides.

Step 23

Make a couple loose turns of thread over the dubbing at its center and cinch the wraps tight, letting the thread further distribute the dubbing all the way around so it encompasses the fur collar.

Step 24

Slide your thumb and index finger in from the front of the hook, forcing the front ends of the Ice Dub back…

Step 25

…and sweep them to the rear of the shank with the other hand.

Step 26

Build a small thread dam in front of the Ice Dubbing to hold it back. Whip finish and clip the thread.

Step 27

Use a dubbing brush to clean up the Ice Dubbing and align it with the collar. There should be a thin veil of Ice Dub surrounding the head.

Step 28

Put a drop of Tear Mender on each side of the head to hold the eyes on place. Put the Tear Mender right onto the Ice Dub and let it sink into the collar as well.

Step 29

Press a Holographic Adhesive Eye into the Tear Mender on each side of the fly. Don’t put them right at the front, but just a bit back from the hook eye as shown.  Make sure the eyes are evenly placed.

Step 30

Bar the sides and top of the fly with a Sepia Prismacolor Marker by stretching the fur collar then the marabou wing tight and drawing the marker across the fibers. I usually run the marker up the Ice Dub on the top of the fly as well

Step 31

Use the dubbing brush to smear the ink through the head and wing a bit, softening the bars.

Step 32

There’s a rainbow trout version of the Dirty Hippy as well. I’ll save this one for a later tutorial…