Travis Johnson says of his Outlaw Fly: I like tying steelhead flies, a lot. I also love looking in peoples steelhead fly boxes. I am not afraid to try something new for steelhead either. With all that in mind, I developed this fly for the purpose of minimal zing body materials to allow focus on the wing and the tail. In the case of the ?Johnson?s Outlaw? I use arctic fox in a bit fuller wing with the idea that it would provide its own background. What really happened was exactly that, but it worked in the exact opposite fashion. It ended up becoming the best fly in direct sunlight. In fact the wide full wing reflected the flash and bright body back to the eyes of the fish. I was not expecting that. You would think that the sun would kill the silhouette, but this fly provides its own. Try it for yourself and don?t fear the light.
Most anglers who fish for steelhead during the bright days of summer, do so with sinking tip lines. There is no doubt the these methods are proven to be successful. Steelhead will rise when there is direct sunlight on them. In the laws of nature, there seems to be many exceptions to any rules. To give yourself the best advantages to fishing near-surface flies during periods of bright light, try to pick situations where the sun is behind the fish. The clearer the water, the more chance for success.