The Grantham Sedge

"…the best steelhead surface fly to bounce down the riffle in ages." -- Rob Brown

"…the best dry fly for summer run steelhead." -- Rick Jones

"It's brilliant!" -- Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia, Inc.

Featured in BCFFF newsletter, Fly Lines, September 2002

Featured in BC Outdoors Sport Fishing and Outdoor Adventure, Summer 2003

Featured in FFF Magazine, Flyfisher, Autumn 2008 - Winter 2009

"Our 'go to' fly when searching for aggressive fall steelhead on the surface" -- Nicholas Dean Lodge

The idea of using a front-extended body for skating flies came to me in 1993 on the Thompson River in British Columbia while fly fishing for those magnificent summer-run steelhead. Riffle-hitched flies and flies with forward-slanting wings work well enough for a while, but I wanted a fly that was attached securely and directly to the leader, and one that would skate high on the water without pulling under. The pattern shown below is the final result of many trial-and-error shapes and sizes, from a mouse to a sedge, but all dressed with deer hair and with a forward extension to make the fly skate better. When used with a floating fly line this unsinkable fly will stay on the surface as long as it is moving. In principle, it acts like a kite where the line is attached to a point back of the leading edge. The fly will skate in line with the leader so directional changes can be made by tossing upstream or downstream mends in the flyline.

Tying instructions:
Cut a piece of .063" nylon monofilament the length of the hook shank, and heat and blunt the forward end. The back end can be angle-cut with toe-nail clippers for a smoother body. For smaller-sized hooks, use a smaller diameter nylon.

Click on images for a larger picture.

Step 1: lay the shaped nylon piece on top of the hook with the blunt end extending 1/8" to 1/4" forward of the eye.



Step 2: leaving a loop for the body material, wrap hook and nylon piece tightly together and cover with flex cement to prevent shifting.



Step 3: wrap the body material from just forward of the hook bend to the blunt end of the extension.



Step 4: tie in a large clump of deer hair at the front end of the extension, whip finish and clip head. Coat thread and deer hair head with flex cement.





Tying instructions for the tube version:

Click on images for a larger picture.

Step 1: Heat the tube and use pliers to flatten it 1/4" from the front, and bend it 45 degrees upwards and let cool. Then push a needle through the tube and insert the needle in the fly tying vise.



Step 2: Tie the fly as above and finish off with the head just behind the hole in the tube.




Bottom view of the finished tube fly.




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Web site created and managed by Ron Grantham. Updated 07/15/2011.