The Super Winnipesaukee Tandem Streamer
Words and images by Partridge ambassador Scott Biron. Pattern originated by Jim Warner.
PRO-Team member Scott Biron provides us with a tutorial for tying the Super Winnipesaukee Tandem Streamer!
The Blood and Guts Streamer, developed by Ken Welch, tied by Scott Biron.
This pattern was adapted from the Winnipesaukee Smelt but not to replace it. Jim Warner used a handful of synthetic materials in this adaptation to make it “more fishable”. The blue was used as an underwing instead of the pink or purple. He felt the red throat was always needed and added it to this pattern.
The white marabou wing is tied in flat. It is really critical to get a marabou feather that does not have a large center stem. As a tyer you may need to hunt through dozens of plumes to find a good one. Tyers tip is to identify your marabou first. That way you can adjust the length of your tandem to the plume length. I usually cut my Steelon 2.25”.
The hooks on these tandems really need to be strong. My experience with tandem flies is that they take a real beating from the fish. The Partridge G3A is a heavy wire hook which is built to handle the stress placed on them when trolling. The Steelon wire is what Jim used on all his tandems and the adhesive for securing the hooks was Zap-A-Gap.
Guide’s Special Recipe:
|Front Hook:||Partridge G3A #04 Wet Fly Heavy 2X 1XL|
|Rear Hook:||Partridge G3A #06 Wet Fly Heavy 2X 1XL|
|Connector Wire||Berkley Steelon 45lb, DIA .028|
|Body:||Silver double-wrapped lacquered|
|Tag:||Fluorescent red thread on rear hook|
|Belly:||Very sparse mix of white Flurofiber and bucktail|
|Throat:||Sparse wisp of fluorescent red floss as long as front hook|
|Underwing||A few strands of peacock herl then a very small mix of royal blue Flurofiber and pearl angel hair.|
|Wing:||White marabou plume, topped by a scant amount of olive Flurofiber|
|Head:||Black thread with silver eye and black pupil|
The Guide’s Special Streamer Tutorial
Start with the rear hook and get a base of thread down, here I’m using red so you can see better. My base is usually 2 layers of thread.
Cut the Steelon 2.25” which will give you, when attached a 2.75” overall length from the bend of the rear hook to the eye of the front hook. This fly will have an overall length of 3.25 (dry)-3.75” (wet) after the materials are in place. The Steelon is nylon coated wire and when you attach the wire with your thread it will bite into the nylon a bit enhancing durability.
Attach the flat silver tinsel to the front of the hook. This is done to get a double wrap of tinsel which is how Jim Warner tied most of his tinsel bodies.
At his point I rotate my HMH TRV so the hook is upside down and slide the Steelon wire through the eye and back to just about the end of the flat part of the shank. If you go into the bend with the wire it will result in the hook riding oddly when trolling. It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep the wire inline and on the bottom of the shank. I will wrap thread up and back the wire to cover and secure it. Then I will use Zap-A-Gap on the thread and go over that with thread several times ending with my thread in front of the tinsel.
I wrap the tinsel down with edge to edge wraps and then back and tie it off.
Here I change to a fluorescent red thread and tie off the tinsel in the front and build a red head. I also use the same thread to build a red tag in the rear. When you whip finish the head and tag it is helpful if you have a long or large whip finisher. Last step on this rear hook is to varnish the tag, tinsel and head 2 or 3 times.
Place the front hook #4 in the vise and get a solid base of black thread down on the shank. Its critical that you only have thread on the flat shank. In order for the rear hook to ride in the water correctly the wire must sit on top of the shank. If you tie it into the bend the rear hook will trail below the front hook and not imitate a smelt correctly in the water.
Lay the Steelon wire on top of the front hook. I always keep the front end 1 eye width back from the eye of the hook. Take a few wraps to secure the Steelon wire on top. Now is the time to make any adjustment to ensure the Steelon wire is lined up perfectly on the top of the shank. Now take a look at the rear hook in relation to the front.
If everything is lined up you can take wraps to get everything secure. And add the silver tinsel by attaching it to the front of the hook and wrap down and back. Re-varnish both hooks.
Add the belly. This needs to be sparse, I get it measured, then I trim it and tie it in under the front hook. At his point I take the hook out of the vice, allow the belly to sit correctly under the fly and return the front hook to the vise. I also varnish the tie in spot after the material is secured.
Here I add the throat of red and once it is secure I trim it to length so it covers the front hook to the bend.
Four peacock herls are attached as the underwing.
The blue Flurofiber mixed with pearl Angel Hair is attached on top of the peacock. The blue Flurofiber and peacock will help to create a lateral line when the fly is wet.
The white marabou feather should have a very thin stem. The key here is to lay the stem flat on top of the shank. Make sure the feather is as long as the underwing or slightly longer. Use some varnish to secure everything before you add the last material.
A sparse amount of olive Flurofiber is added as a topping. I make this a bit longer than the white marabou wing so when the marabou gets wet the olive and the marabou are close to the same length.
Here you can see how the material sits on top of the fly.
Several coats of varnish are applied to the head before the eye gets painted.
The eye will be silver and the pupil will be black. I have used countless paints, resin, and nail polish brands to paint eyes nothing has held up as well as this enamel. I use a wooden cotton-tipped applicator for the silver eye. It is the perfect size and it loads one eye worth of paint on it when I dip it in the paint. The pupil applicator is a round toothpick with the point cut flush off.
Both silver eyes get painted on and allowed to dry.
The pupil is added and allowed to dry. Followed by several coats of varnish that are added over the paint for durability.
Scott A Biron
Scott Biron cut his teeth learning to tie flies and fly fish back in the 1960s in the North County of New Hampshire. He has fished many of the streams North of Route 26 in NH and his beloved Androscoggin River. Scott is an active fly tying instructor for NH Fish & Game and is popular tying and instructing in national, international and regional shows. He was awarded a 2017 NH Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant and studied fly tying including Traditional New England Streamer patterns and progressed to Classic Salmon Flies. Since then he has become a Master Artist in the Traditional Arts Program. He had an apprentice working under him during 2021.
Scott has a strong interest in historical NH fly tyers and their lost patterns and has published, researched, instructed as well as demonstrated many of these lost NH fly patterns. He enjoys instructing individuals of all ages in the art of fly tying and is known for including the history of these tyers and their flies in his instruction. Scott is considered an expert on large group instruction and offers dozens of classes year round. Each year he is an volunteer instructor at NH Fish & Game's Camp Barry's Fish Camp where he instructs over 50 campers in fly tying and fly fishing. Scott is a member of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, an Ambassador for the American Museum of Fly Fishing. He is a regular contributor to the Fly Dressers Guild Journal and the NH Wildlife Journal. Scott is on the Partridge of Redditch, Sprite Hooks, Cortland, Riversmith and Ewing Feather Birds Pro Teams. He is on the Ambassador Pro Team for HMH Vises. Ewing has come out with a signature series line of feathers under Scott’s name.
New London, New Hampshire USA
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