December 2008

Snowshoe Trude

Steve Matter

Snowshoe Trude

Hook: Barbless #10-16 dry, 1X or 2X long, any brand--they’re all good. I have using #16 on area streams.
Thread: 6/0 or 8/0, black, wine or rust. 8/0 makes for a neater head.
Tail: Golden Pheasant tippet
Body: Peacock herl
Rib: Extra-fine wire or thread
Wing: Snowshoe rabbit foot
Hackle: Brown, grizzly or combo. (I like to undersize the hackle).
Tying Instructions
Attach tail: four or five barbs the length of the shaft, or a little shorter.

Tie in rib and then two or three herl, depending on length of fibers on the herl. I don’t like them too bushy but that is somewhat arbitrary. Wind them about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the shank. Counter wrap with rib.

Wrap shank with a layer of thread to give the snowshoe hair purchase. Snip a bunch of hair from between the toes or anywhere up to the hock. Now what is a “bunch”? Trial and error, my friends. You will soon know what looks and handles the best. Holding the bunch in your fingers, tease or comb out most of the under fur. You don’t need a hair stacker--nature is not that neat. Place on top of shank and lock in and tie down the cut ends. Since this material is sometimes slippery, I also use a couple figure eight wraps. NOTE: There is the Jacobsen variation wherein you tie the material by the tips. This radical technique will need stream tests to determine legitimacy.

Hopefully there is plenty of room to attach hackle in usual manner.

Snowshoe feet are hydrophobic. Given that attribute, plus a generous coating of flotant, this fly is a treat to use. Hard to sink it in fact, even after having caught several trout. When it does manage to sink, you can strip it back like a streamer, and trout like it that way also. Equally nice is that this fly is very visible.

Photograph ©2009 by Marv Slind