Mack’s Canyon

I have a lot going on and I know I promised a how-to of the Blue Charm, it will happen once my life calms down. I am currently under going a move over seas in a short period of time and things have been stressful, luckily fly tying has been an excellent release and I have enjoyed my weekly visits with Project Healing Waters.

This week for our tie night I have chosen the Mack’s Canyon. Originally developed 1972 by Doug Stewart for fishing the Deschutes River. Doug stated he developed the fly by mixing a skunk fly and Brad’s Brat.

Macks canyon

A classic steelhead fly with contrasting colors the Mack’s Canyon is a simple tie and I have included the recipe below.

Hook: Size 2 Limerick Hook

Tail: Mixed Orange and White Hackle Fibers

Ribbing: Oval Tinsel

Body: Rear 1/3rd Orange Chenille, Front 2/3rds Black Chenille

Throat: Black Hackle

Wing: Orange over White Bucktail

I would also like to pass on a few tips I have found tying these old Steelie flies.

1. Use black thread. Most of the old  flies used black thread anyways but I like to give these flies a coat of black Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails. It is easy to match the black but other colors can get tricky and clear will show any flaws in the head.

2. Mylar Tinsel is not a good substitute for Oval Tinsel. In some flies they can be interchangeable but the look of these two as ribbing is wildly different.

3. A throat and a collar are different. It changes the look of the fly completely and different recipes for the same fly may call for either. The difference for me is a throat is tied before the wing and a collar is tied after. I typically will pull down the fibers on a throat and place a few extra wraps to secure them facing down. Experiment and see what you like better on certain patterns.

For more information check out the Originator’s site Fly Fishing with Doug

I will try to catch up with some of the other Steelhead flies I’ve been tying the last few weeks and add them as blog posts.


Until next time, Tight Lines


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