Jon Hazlett says:
I'll never forget the first time I saw an Intruder. I was
running the fly shop that used to be in the Ashland Outdoor Store. Mike
McCune came down to teach a Spey clinic for us. That weekend, while
hanging out at my house, he opened one of his fly boxes. I had never
seen such a thing. He had a stable of flies up to 5 inches long. And
they were awesome!
He referred to them as Intruders. He gave me a brief
tutorial on design, function, and rigging. Mike, being the humble guy
he is, gave credit to his buddy Ed Ward. That was the first time I
ever saw an Intruder. That is also my formal introduction to the
turkey flat, in the form of some custom dyed feathers from Mike. That
is when it all changed for me.
Needless to say, I hit the vise pretty hard after that. I
made my best attempts at Intruder-esque bugs. Soon they started
popping up everywhere. It was the start of the "big fly" movement.
I started experimenting with other patterns that embodied
the design functions of the Intruder: a good profile, low bulk, and
good movement. That is when the
Dirk Wiggler came
about. I needed a fly that had those characteristics, was easy to tie,
durable, and easy to cast. Part of my inspiration for the Dirk
Wiggler were bass spinner baits, which have a rubber skirt and lots
of wiggle. Instead of rubber legs, the Dirk Wiggler features Flex
Floss which is supported by a big dubbing ball and a palmered turkey
flat. Throw in some marabou and flashabou, and you have a squid-like
critter that delivers a ton of movement in slow water, maintains it's
shape and pulsates in faster water, and just plain fishes. The Dirk
Wiggler is a proven steelhead fly that has taken fish from NorCal to
BC. Kings, Silvers and Alaska Rainbows can't resist it either.