I originally designed this fly specifically for the Provo river. I wanted something that looked like a lot of different food items and that had some serious flash (as a fly tyer I have a flash addiction). In my experience a rusty orange color has worked extremely well on the Provo and a number of other rivers, so I set out to make a fly with a similar body style to that of a pheasant tail, except on a curved hook – I believe it makes the fly look more like a mayfly nymph that is swimming, as they are rarely just rigid while free floating in the current. My criteria was that the fly needed a rusty coloration and had to be really flashy.
I tried a number of techniques to get the body itself to be flashy and still utilize the pheasant tail, most of which resulted in some pretty ugly bugs. I finally decided to try and lay the pheasant tail loosely over orange halo shimmer tinsel wrapped body in a segmented fashion, and the rest is history. The traditional peacock hurl was also replaced with a slightly more flashy peacock ice dub. I started using it with clients right away with great results. We caught fish on stillwaters and rivers, when my traditional favorites were failing.
I initially thought that the bug would work well during PMD and other mayfly hatches, but it has proved to be effective in most situations. I now use it as prospecting fly with great results. I have received reviews from the San Juan saying that it is the go to bug in the winter for one of the guiding services down there. I have friends in Colorado who have used it with great success on waters with traditionally picky trout such as the South Platte through Cheeseman Canyon. I’ve also had reports from a number of other waters throughout Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, all reporting impressive results. I personally have absolutely slayed fish throughout the Rockies and the Uintas with this bug and it is virtually always on the line when I am fishing with a client. I’m not sure exactly what I stumbled on to, I’d like to think it was pure genius, but more accurate would be that I came accross a good combo of features that trout seem to like completely by accident.