Fly of the Month – Satkowski’s Weedeater

Guest Blogger: John Satkowski, Toledo, OH, fly tying demonstrator and instructor, you can find him @ River Raisin Fly Company on Facebook

We have all been there, you want to throw your fly in the garbage and pull out a pig that you know is just sitting in there. The problem is between you and the fish of a lifetime is about seven yards of jungle and wood that would make Rambo cringe. How do you get your fly through the nasty and have it present cleanly to the monster buried within it? This is basically how Satkowski’s Weedeater was originated.

Recipe:

Hooks: Gamakatsu EWG 6/0 Offset Shank Worm and Owner 5131 Trailer Hook
Thread: 6/0 Chartreuse UNI thread
Tail: White craft fur, pearl Polar Flash
Body: Pearl body braid and Pearl Ice Dub
Sides: Pink Ice Dub, Keogh olive variant premium saddles
Wing: Chartreuse ostrich herl and chartreuse bucktail covered by dark green Polar Flash
Head: Chartreuse green Senyo Laser Yarn
Belly: White and light pink Senyo Laser Yarn
Eyes: Flymen Fish-Skull Living Eyes, Earth color 8.5-15mm depending on size of fly and hook
Weight/Rattle: 3mm glass worm rattle
Extras: latex trailer tubing, Zap A Gap adhesive

Step 1. For this fly, we will be using two hooks. Both are fairly unconventional but the fly is intermediate to advanced level. If you are a conventional rod fisherman or tournament fisherman, you may recognize the tubing in the photograph. It is latex tubing that is used to attach trailer hooks to spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and plastics. Since any other kind of attachment will lead to the trailer hook moving and swaying possibly catching weeds, the latex tubing was used to alleviate this problem. The hooks used in this tying demonstration are a Gamakatsu EWG 6/0 Offset Shank Worm Hook and an Owner 5131 Trailer hook.

Step 1

Step 2. Cut a small section of the latex tubing to just fit over the hook of the trailer hook. Slip it over the eye of the trailer hook and slide it down until it is about in line with the hook point of the main EWG hook. Take care to make sure it is lined up properly, once positioned the hook will not move much.

Step 2

Step 3. At this point you can attach some 6/0 chartreuse thread, for this demonstration I am using 6/0 Unithread, and near the bend towards the eye tie in a rattle. The kind of rattle isn’t really important as long as it provides the weight necessary to help keel the hook and makes adequate noise. This is a 3mm Glass Worm Rattle and they are longer and thinner than most rattles making them nice to use in fly tying. Once you have completely secured the rattle on the underside of the shank, apply a liberal layer of super glue and let completely dry to make sure the rattle is secured properly.

Step 3

Step 4. Tie in a piece of pearl body braid directly straight down from the hook point and wrap a thick layer all the way up to the rattle tie in point. Once this is completed, create a dubbing loop and heavily wax it with your preferred dub wax.

Step 4

Step 5. Fill the dubbing loop with pearl ice dub and spin the loop tight. Once completely spun, take a wire brush and thoroughly brush out the loop until all the fibers are teased out of the loop. Take your dubbing tool with the loop and fold the fibers in half much like you would fold a feather collar backwards before wrapping. Once you have wrapped the dubbing loop all the way up the shank completely covering the rattle, you can tie the loop off and create a tiny bump of thread for the next step. Brush the dub again from every angle and then backwards to create a nice belly for a nice baitfish profile.

Step 5

Step 6. This step can be a difficult one but it helps with the movement of the materials under the main wing of the fly. Take some craft fur and tie it in with the tapered ends going towards the back of the fly leaving about a quarter to an eighth of an inch of material at the tie in point. Take the butt ends of the craft fur and fold them backwards over itself and with tight wraps tie down again. You can then clip the excess. You will have two clumps of craft fur tied on the shank in this manner. Be sure to comb the underfur out of the craft fur before you tie any down for this step. It makes handling the craft fur much easier and makes this step much cleaner.

Step 6

Step 7. Once you have tied down the two clumps of craft fur, you can then take a sparse clump of pearl wing-n-flash and tie in over the craft fur clumps. This adds a little flash and helps create the profile of a baitfish. You can now advance your thread up to the eye section and wrap a couple tight wraps near the bend as shown in the photograph.

Step 7

Step 8. Tie in two sections of pearl Polar Flash near the eye of the hook always leaving as much room as you can. The second section of Polar Flash should be about an inch short than the first. Be sure to keep your thread wraps as neat as possible as you near the eye of the hook.

Step 8

Step 9. Over the Polar Flash tie in ten to twelve chartreuse ostrich herls and a sparse topping of chartreuse bucktail. The ostrich and bucktail should just extend beyond the trailer hook.

Step 9

Step 10. At this point, we are going to develop the front and sides of the fly. Center Tie a small to medium size clump of pink ice dub and pull the material over itself and tie down on the sides of the hook so it covers the ostrich and bucktail. Once securely tied down, brush the ice dub so that it spreads out and covers more area. On the bottom of the fly, center tie a clump of white Senyo Laser Yarn and fold it over and lash down again with thread. Brush the Laser Yarn well and blend it with the pearl ice dub. A lot of this fly relies on brushing the materials together to “fuse” them into a solid shape.

Step 10

Step 11. Add a topping of dark green Polar Flash on top cascading over the bucktail, it should be slightly longer than the longest section of the Pearl Polar Flash. At this point you can tie premium saddle hackles on each side that are as long as the dark green Polar Flash. These are Keogh olive variant saddles, but any long, slender hackles will do. For this particular pattern, try to avoid using bigger, thicker saddles as they rob the fly of action.

Step 11

Step 12. Green craft fur is now tied in over the dark green Polar Flash after combing out the underfur. Neatly trim the butts of the craft fur and completely cover in thread with even, tight wraps.

Step 12

Step 13. Center tie some Chartreuse Green Senyo Laser Yarn on the top of the fly and some light pink Senyo Laser Yarn on the bottom of the fly and create a neat, little head near the eye of the hook. You can whip finish and cast off your thread, the tying of the fly is completed. Brush the Senyo Laser Yarn on the top and bottom of the fly well and blend it with the other materials. At this point, you can also mark some lines or bars on the top of the fly. This is up to the tier, but if it gives you confidence on the water it is definitely worth the time to be creative with the markers. Apply whatever head cement or finishing product you use and the fly is completed.

Step 13

Satkowski’s Weedeater

4 thoughts on “Fly of the Month – Satkowski’s Weedeater

  1. Paul MUNDY

    Awesome way to get weedless!! For this particular color scheme, what’s the Target Species? And, are the other color patterns you found just as productive on the target species, or on another target species?
    Thanks,
    Paul

    Reply
  2. Bruce Nicholls

    What size Owner 5131 Trailer Hook is being used with this 6/0 off-set worm hook? And if I wanted to scale down the 6/0 offset hook to a 1/0 or 2/0, what size Owner 5131 Trailer Hook would be appropriate.

    Reply
  3. John Satkowski

    Thanks everyone, I like to use this color scheme when I go after Pike because it always seems to be productive, other colors schemes that work well in the past have been an all white, black/purple, redhead, and brown/tan/olive or orange, The predominant forage for pike in the areas I fish are creek chubs and suckers with the occasional Rock Bass or Smallie in the mix. I tie to imitate their natural food and have a couple attraction colors as well like the black and purple. Bruce, to answer your question the Owner trailer hook for the 6/0 Worm hook would be 3/0 or 4/0 in size. If you are looking to tie a smaller version, I would consider using something like a long shank O’Shaughnessy streamer hook with a smaller diameter tubing to facilitate the stabilization of the trailer hook. If you used a 1/0 Offset G-Lock Hook, you could pair it with a size 1 or 2 O’Shaughnessy hook. Any longer shank hook will work as long as the eye of the hook will be able to be slide over the hookpoint of the main hook. I picked O’Shaughnessy as the smaller hook on a scaled down fly because those models of hooks have larger eyes than standard hooks. If you are having trouble finding tubing to suit the connection, you can try your local hardware store. They often have lots of different kinds and sizes of tubing to fit your needs.

    Reply

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