The Peninsula Baitfish is designed primarily for king salmon on the Alaska Peninsula, but it works just as well in smaller sizes and different colors as a steelhead fly for the Olympic Peninsula. The chartreuse version pictured here is specifically intended for fresh fish just off the tide. It is primarily fished on a downstream swing with a sink tip. The saddle hackles and ostrich provide plenty of motion to suggest a swimming herring, mackerel or smelt, or even a squid's tentacles. Two composite loops make a neat, multi-layered effect that has a wide profile without a lot of bulk, and the dumbbell eyes keep it swimming upright. The doll eyes are surprisingly tough when cured with UV knot sense and hit with UV light, and they might just provide that last little bit of stimulation to trigger predators into striking. - Trevor Covich
- Thread: 210 Denier, White
- Hook Shank: OPST Intruder Shank, 25mm
- Braided Loop Material: Power Pro, 65 pound
- First Composite Loop: Pearl and Chartreuse Ice Dub, Barred Senyo Predator Wrap, Clear
- Tentacles: Chartreuse Saddle Hackle and White Ostrich
- Head: I-Balz, Black, and Pearl Diamond Braid
- Second Composite Loop: UV Lavender Ice Dub, UV Silver Ice dub, White Ostrich
- Eyes: Doll or stick-on eyes hit with UV Knot Sense and cured with UV light, glued onto Pearl Diamond Braid
Step 1. Place your OPST 25mm Intruder Shank in your vise or shank tool. Tie down your braided loop material along the shank. Thread the braid through the eye and back down along the shank, and tie down with close and very tight wraps.
Step 2. Lay down a bed of pearl ice dub about 2.5 inches long. Try to work and pull the fibers to make them roughly the same length. On top of that place a clump of predator wrap about half the length of the Ice dub, with the long ends of the Predator Wrap to the left, about 80/20 over the midline of the dubbing. On top of the Predator Wrap place a thin layer of the chartreuse Ice Dub. You now have a sandwich of Predator Wrap and Ice Dub.
Step 3. Place the entire sandwich in a dubbing loop at the rear of the shank. Try to center the dubbing, but leave the long ends of the predator wrap to the left, arranged about 80/20 over the thread.
Step 4. Spin the dubbing loop, then spin again. Pick out the materials to free trapped fibers, then give a thorough brushing.
Step 5. Use water to part the materials, creating a hackle. The more compressed the materials are, the easier they are to tie and the neater your fly will be. Wrap forward in close wraps and tie off and cut off the dubbing loop.
Step 6. Tie in the two saddle hackles in front of your rear shoulder, on either side of the fly. Then tie in 6-10 fibers of white ostrich on top, making them about 1.5 inches shorter than the hackles.
Step 7. Tie in your dumbbell eyes on the bottom of the shank, then tie in your diamond braid and wrap up and around the eyes and tie off in front of the eyes.
Step 8. Prepare another composite loop by laying down UV lavender Ice Dub. On top of this, add silver Ice Dub, which usually has longer fibers. Then place about 8 strands of white ostrich below this. You can either place the ostrich in the dubbing sandwich or add it by itself.
Step 9. Make another dubbing loop and add the dubbing and ostrich to it. I prefer adding the dubbing first, and then the ostrich, but this is a bit more technical. Measure your ostrich out to the length you want, and try to make the butts small on one end. The dubbing should be centered on the thread. Spin your OPST dubbing spinner aggressively. Add moisture, part the materials to create a hackle, and wrap forward. Cut off the dubbing loop.
Step 10. Take the two eyes that you have glued to short pieces of diamond braid. Tie these on either side of the head. Use a marker to bar the fly as desired. Whip finish.