One of the great things about traveling to new destinations is that you often learn about fly patterns you’ve never seen before. On a recent trip to Iceland, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions had the opportunity to geek out on flies with the experienced guides who work for Fish Partner. He was particularly taken with this re-imagining of the classic Maine hairwing streamer popularized by tier Herbie Welch in the 1920s. The Icelandic version is heavier–featuring a tungsten cone and lead-free wire–and it substitutes rabbit hair for Welch’s feathers. The result is a streamer that gets down in the water column quickly and offers a lot of lifelike movement in the current.
In this great video, Tim walks you through the steps to create the pattern and offers helpful tips along the way. Pay special attention to how he prepares the zonker strips before tying the rabbit hair to the hook. You’ll find these techniques helpful for lots of nymph and streamer patterns.
Icelandic Black Ghost
Hook: Streamer-nymph hook (here a Lightning Strike SN3), size 6.
Head: Black nickel tungsten cone, large.
Weight: Lead-free round wire, .020.
Adhesive #1: Superglue (here, Fly Tyer’s Z-Ment).
Thread: Black, 140-denier or 6/0.
Rib: Silver oval French tinsel, medium.
Body: Black yarn.
Undertail: Yellow cross-cut Zonker strip, cleaned.
Tail: White rabbit Zonker.
Flash: Pearl Flashabou.
Adhesive #2: Superglue (here, Fly Tyer’s Z-Ment).
Collar: Yellow cross-cut Zonker strip.
Adhesive #3: Dubbing wax.
Tools: Chip clips, double whirl, dubbing needle, plunger-style hackle pliers, and whip-finish tool.