Hook: Size 2 heavy iron
Body: Black diamond braid with blue flashabou rib
Cushion: Blue craft fur dubbed in a ball
Hackle: 1/2 stripped light blue marabou feather (not too wispy); ten black rhea fibers sloping back; 2 strands blue flashabou doubled over; 1/2 stripped black marabou feather
First, at 3/4s down the hook shank, tie in a couple strands of blue flashabou. Second, tie in your diamond braid. Third, wrap the diamond braid up the hook shank leaving about 1/5th hook shank between the diamond braid and the eye. Fourth, rib the diamond braid with the flashabou. Fifth, create a dubbing loop, fill the loop with craft fur (arctic fox or seal substitute would suffice) and spin. Then, create a significant craft fur ball but try not to crowd the eye of the hook. Sixth, take your 1/2 stripped blue marabou feather, tie it in so the fibers will slope back and make three or four turns. Seventh, tie in the rhea fibers so that they surround the diameter of the hook and curve inward. Eighth, take your 1/2 stripped black marabou feather, tie it in so the fibers will slope back and give it three or four turns. Your head should be a moderate size at this point so tie it off and give it a swing.
This fly is a cute little marabou spey pattern tied in the fish-catching colors of black and blue. Although I rarely turn to this kind of fly when fishing in Michigan or Wisconsin, I love tying steelhead flies that fall into the classic west coast and Alaskan tradition. Sure, I'll break one out for a couple swings but all too often I quickly and cowardly turn back to my black leech and olive sculpin patterns that have put fish in hand. Nevertheless, these flies are elegant, artistic, and in that sense they compliment their quarry like no other fly. As I advance down the road that is steelheading I'm sure they will begin to play a more prominent role. But for now they are just the pretty flies crowding a corner of my box and I'm glad they're there.