I'm constantly looking for unique single hook streamers. At this point, there are a handful that I rely on for fishing small, especially with smaller trout, maybe stocked trout, because they don't go for big. I mean, sure- if you fish long enough you'll see trout try and egg cigarette butts and indicator, even fly line.....but to find a single hook streamer that produces and isn't your run of the mill wooly bugger is pretty tough these days. Then I found this fly in a random Facebook fly tying group, and immediately knew this fly was just a little different.
When I saw it the first time, I thought- this is perfect. It's almost like a wooly bugger, it's almost like a zonker or strip leech, it's almost like a Dali Llama, it's almost like a conehead....but it's unique enough to have all those similarities and still stand up on it's own. This is the Willie's Rabbit streamer fly and a short Q&A from the designer, William Buttars.
I appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions, I really dig this fly and think it will help a lot of guys start getting more eats and will ease some of the frustration of the go big or go home attitude.
PRIME: Where are you from and what species do you target typically?
William: I was born and raised in Eastern Idaho and grew up fishing for trout in Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Occasionally salmon and steelhead. I've lived in Michigan for 13 years and target trout, salmon, and steelhead about equally.
PRIME: The Willie's Rabbit- when did you start tying it and how did it come together?
William: I tied a variation of it about 6 or 7 years ago. I dug it out of my fly box for the first time during a desperate attempt to find a productive streamer while floating the South fork of The Snake River in June. This streamer, and others like it, immediately started producing fish and I've been experimenting with the pattern since.
PRIME: What sizes would you recommend others tie and fish?
William: This pattern is just as much about the size as it is the appearance. Anything bigger or smaller I prefer to use a different pattern. Something smaller I would probably use a bugger variation or a bunny leech. Anything bigger would probably be articulated, like a junkyard dog or dungeon.
I've tied a few articulated versions of the Willie's Rabbit, as well. The Willie's Rabbit is tied exclusively on a #4, 4x long streamer hook (Daiichi 2220). This is my favorite size to use, but I will go a size larger occasionally, or a few sizes smaller.
PRIME: What are some of the most productive color schemes you have found so far?
William: Olive variations and black are by far the most productive for trout. I've turned several large fish with brown and white patterns, and the conditions need to be more specific for the fish to key in on those. If I had to pick two colors for any condition, olive and black.
PRIME: What's the basic program of tying this fly?
William: Marabou tail, plus flashabou, Rabbit strip over the tail and body, polar chenille over the hook shank, then rubber legs and more flashabou, followed by Clyde's laser dub and a 1/4-in conehead.
PRIME: How much do you charge and how can people get in touch to order a few?
William: I tie a limited amount for commercial sale and prefer to sell them direct, rather than a higher volume of wholesale orders. I do have a full-time job working for the man.
I'll fill orders of three or six. Three for $24 or six for $42 plus shipping. Orders can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and should include quantity and colors. Each batch of three needs to be the same color.
Big Shout out to William for sharing his fly and his general program to tie it. If you are interested, hit him up for a few. If you want to see more fly patterns from around the world of social media, let me know. I do have one more of these planned, it's a really cool bass fly. Stay cool in this summer heat, and get read because Fall Streamer Season is almost here.
I'm also running a sale right now at 20% off until September 1st so you can stock up on all your favorite flies right here at Prime Fly including a bunch of articulated stuff, just in case you need to meet Tron. No promo code necessary.
P R I M E F L Y
Daniel Podobed III