I posted pictures of the fly on Speypages and got supportive responses from members. I ended up sending a few of my flies to Mike Papais (GR8LAKES FLYER) to reciprocate his generosity in sending me a fine selection of hairwing wets, of course, tied in hand. Upon receiving my gift of flies which I typically ship in an Altoid tin, Mike's daughter Celeste was fascinated upon seeing the look of my strange flies and said to her father: "Hey daddy , those look like they're wearing life jackets , the salmon will think they're helpless and you'll get one for sure " ....... Because of Celeste's child-like faith in my fly, with Celeste's permission, I decided to name my fly after her.
This is just further validation that black and blue is just a magical color combo on steelhead for some reason. The composition of this pattern continually lends itself to endless color combos I have even been seeing postings of folks tying their own versions of this fly and I am just amazed and honored by the renditions I have seen of my humble fly.
My local steelhead continue to be looking up with fish raised on almost every trip lately. This has been the earliest that I have encountered consistent surface responses by my local anadromous quarry. However, these steelhead are currrently in "one timer" mode - they come up once and either they are hooked on that rise or if they miss, they won't come back. Will be interesting to see when these steelhead start getting into comeback or player mode - I just love the excitement of steelhead coming back to the surface multiple times and giving me extra chances at a hookup. My nerves are totally on edge and my senses on high alert during such exciting times.
Wishing you all an blessed skater season!
PS: I was reminded on one of the fly fishing forms that my fly is actually a waker, not a skater. Wakers push a v-wake in the surface and skaters are typically hackled flies that ride on the surface by hackle tips making a more subtle disturbance. Bill McMillan discussed these differences in Dry Line Steelhead as well. As our steelhead fly fishing culture has evolved, the two terms have been used interchangeably and I am guilty of deferring to using the terms skater and skating when my fly is actually a waker, that wakes. The semantics are not a huge deal to me, but I also want to respect history and tradition in our sport.