• Originator:  John Barr
  • Hook: TMC 5262 or equivalent, #4 or 6
  • Bead: 5/32” tungsten bead; black, gold, or silver
  • Thread: 6/0 Uni in color to match fly
  • Tail: Pine Squirrel Zonker Strip; black, olive, or white
  • Body Dubbing: Ice Dub; black, olive brown, or pearl
  • Collar: Marabou, tied in a dubbing loop or palmered; black, olive, or white

This fly always has a place in my flybox whether I’m headed out to fish waters both moving or still.  It is a variant of a deadly fly from the ever-inventing mind of John Barr.  The original is a great fly that came to fame on the Henry’s Fork and Silver Creek, quickly proving its usefulness in waters of spring origin.  The squirrel strip offers a lively underwater display and the long marabou fibers of the collar both add a very defined shape to the overall fly and have a muting effect on the squirrel strip’s color.  Our BSA version is tied with a tungsten bead on a somewhat larger and more substantial hook than the original, and is tied to be fished more as a streamer in bigger rivers. We have also added a small anti-fouling loop off the back of the hook to help the slender squirrel strip not tangle in the hook.   I suppose it imitates a small fry more than a leech when tied like this.  It enters the water quietly and is highly effective in shallow and low water conditions.  It also holds up to the larger trout of rivers like the Missouri in Montana, the brown trout rivers of Iceland, and the productive waters of both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia.  This has also proven to be a very effective lake fly in this size in our home stillwaters like Hebgen and Henry’s Lake as well as the lakes of Patagonia in the south.

– Jonathan