Mercer's October Caddis Skater Steelhead Fly
Three of these flies just magically showed up in my "waker box." I can't remember who gave them to me, but it was probably the Umpqua Feather Merchants rep; I get samples from fly reps all of the time. In August of 2013, I decided to try one while fishing the Deschutes for steelhead.
It took about ten casts to prove its worth with a fish to my hand. More fish followed in short order, and this little foam-headed thing became my go-to fly. It took half the season to figure out where they came from. By the end of the season, my sample flies were pretty well chewed up.
This fly seems to wake best when attached with a small non-tightening loop knot. There is no need to "riffle-hitch" it. In my experience, it will wake in nearly any kind of water that will hold steelhead. - Mark Bachmann