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B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Purple Austrian

Lately we have been talking about the Purple Austrian. A favourite with www.steelheadheaven.ca . Please read on as Archie describes his latest fly in detail.

Darcy, a friend of ours who practically lives on the local rivers, now uses this fly almost exclusively and swears by it. I christened the fly a Purple Austrian after I learned it was a gift to the skipper from a local lodge owner. The tier and inventor — a client from Austria, fished the Skeena for two days in September with a friend from Germany and together, they landed more than twenty steelhead, using just the one fly. The creation is a pretty thing - easy to tie and it moves well in the water. I used the fly with impressive success on the Kispiox this past fall, it being a river where purple flies seem to have a significant advantage. By the end of today, the skipper managed four to the beach and several others were released Texas style, while they were still far away from the camera lens. I fished using a sparsely tied egg-sucking leech and another favorite called a Trick or Treat, from Rob Brown’s marvelous book, ‘Skeena’. The inventor of the fly is a friend of Rob’s named Doug Webb. If you intend to fish the Skeena system, I suggest you check out Rob’s book&he is a wonderful writer, a brilliant rod and a fly tier of some repute. I landed three fish with each fly, so Tracey’s fly was the clear winner on the day. After the boat was safely stowed and all the gear had been put away we headed for the hot tub. If there is a feeling more enjoyable than jumping into a steaming bath of bubbling, scalding hot water after a wet and frigid day of angling in unrelenting rain, I have yet to experience it. It took more than an hour and two glasses of Merlot before the feeling returned to my fingers and when my body hit the water, I could hear my joints groan with pleasure.

Here’s the Purple Austrian recipe:

Hook: I’m not sure it matters, but I tied most of these on red, Gamakatzu hooks. I like the look and the red ones consistently caught more fish for me, but it is probably just my imagination.

Tail: A generous tuft of purple marabou, tied in right above the point of the hook and extending about ¼” past the end of the hook bend.

I start a fine, silver rib right after the tail and wrap it over the full length of the body.

Rear third of body: Bright red floss.

Forward two thirds of body: Small, black chenille or black seal dubbing.

Underwing: Half a dozen strands of red Flashabou, extending to the end of the hook bend.

Wing: I use a full tuft of strung, purple marabou, brushing the tuft back with my fingers and pinching the end tight until it is the right size for the wing to extend to the same point as the Flashabou.

Overwing: Half a dozen strands of silver Flashabou, extending to the same point as the wing.

Hackle: Soft, large, purple saddle — tied full for two or three wraps.

Whip finish, head cement and show it off to your wife. Remember to ‘pay it forward’ when you meet another fly fisherman on the riverbank. Good luck and see you on the river.

Archie
From Steelheadheaven Guide Services

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