The Rumpelstiltskin

The Yellowstone is a great place to fish streamers. Often, we’ll be running #4 sculpins or baitfish patterns sporting heavy lead eyes in front of a sopping wet bunny strip. This is often very effective for big brown trout, yet it cannonballs the water, spooking shallow water predators. As you’re floating through, you may also find aggressive fish feeding in skinny side-channels or off shallow island tail-outs. This is when you want to lighten your presentation to avoid spooking larger, wary fish. Fish this fly on a floating line in creeks or shallows, intermediate tips off the boat or in lakes, or stripped as well as swung with heavy sinking tips in deep winter runs. This fly is also deadly on many of our tailwaters, big and small.

Hook: Tiemco 200R #6
Thread: 140 UTC Waxed Brown/Olive
Tail: Hareline Rabbit Strip in brown
Body: Enrico Puglisi Sparkle fibers in dubbing loop
Lateral line: Lateral scale flash
Head: Gold Spirit River Cone Head
Gills: Red UV Krystal Flash

1. Place the cone over the hook shank.
2. Tie in the bunny strip fur side-up on the back of the hook shank just above the bend, leaving a tail half the length of the hook shank. Leave the rest of the strip hanging off the back to pull up to the cone later.
3. Create a 2 1/2-inch dubbing loop in the thread where you tied in the bunny strip.
4. Slide in pre-cut 1-inch sections of E.P. Sparkle fibers into the dubbing loop until the loop is full, but not too full.
5. Spin the dubbing loop until the fibers make a sparse, even dubbing brush.
6. Palmer the dubbing loop forward while stroking back the fibers as you make your way to the cone where you will tie off the dubbing loop.
7. Tie in red Krystal flash in front of the E.P. Sparkle fibers and lie them back.
8. Tie in two stands of lateral scale flash—one on each side of the body.
9. Pull the remainder of the bunny strip forward and tie it in to the top of the hook shank 1/8th-inch behind the cone.
10. Palmer the bunny strip around the hook shank one time, and tie it off behind the cone.
11. Trim the bunny fur under the belly of the fly to expose the sparkle fibers and red gills.

 Paul Bloch ties, guides, and works at the Yellowstone Angler in Livingston.