Aqua Flies Mini Intruder
Stuart Foaxall, Aqua Flies Fly Designer:
I have been fly fishing and tying flies for well over 30 years, but mainly for European species. I took the plunge 6 years ago and booked "a trip of a lifetime" chasing Pacific fish. To say that it has absorbed me is an understatement... I just can't get enough. I spend over four weeks a year chasing Pacific salmon and my favorite, the steelhead.
The chance to catch this enigmatic fish that I had read and dreamed about as a kid reading Roderick Haig Brown's "A River Never Sleeps," is something that will remain very special to me until my dying day.
Being an obsessive fly tyer, I suppose the first thing that I really take an interest in when I fish a new river system, is the local preference in flies. One thing that we Europeans look for in our salmon flies is a natural taper and translucency that make the fly look alive and swim in all conditions. It seemed to me that a lot of Pacific flies lacked these essential ingredients. So I wanted to design some intruders that had weight at the head so they swam in a balanced manner, had a natural taper so it would wriggle even in the slightest current, but have enough bulk at the head of the fly so the materials wouldn't collapse in the faster currents. I also like to have a strong color contrast in my flies so they stand out to fish during the swing and are easier to see. I like flash in my flies but not enough to frighten fish that have been in the river system for some time. So I use European techniques to taper the tinsels and flashabou to get a nice glint during the swing without being too flashy. All of these attributes have resulted in some very efficient and confidence inspiring flies. Instead of using dubbing balls to make the material flare, I use a thick fritz that also serves as an amazing target point in the fly when seen from behind.
The Mini Intruders were just an extension in my fly box for some very busy winter coastal streams that I fished with some of my BC guide friends. Their steelhead see multiple versions of big bright bugs and get easily spooked. These babies are bright enough to be seen, without being too brash and frightening those finicky fish. These flies have also proved to be effective on summer run fish. When a large intruder may be just too much, these smaller bugs still fish the faster streams well but still have enough movement in them for swinging into the shallower tail outs without spooking those fresh fish just nosing into the run.
When the sun is shining bright or the river is flowing clear, this is a great choice.
A great dirty water color.
This has a great natural "shrimpy" color to it when in water and has caught its fair share of Chinook for me as well.
A nice natural colored fly that works really well on busy river systems
when the usual pink, black, and blue colors are spooking the fish.
This is a great fly for winter coastal streams. Bright enough for glacial melt water to illicit that aggressive grab.
The Hot Pink & Orange Mini Ostrich Intruder has already landed three steelhead, and is a little thinned out and beat--up, but ready to land more fish. The hook was damaged and replaced with black instead of silver. Hooks are easily replaced on Mini Ostrich Intruders