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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Skater Of The Month - August 2017 - The Freebird

For those who may be "morally opposed " to foam, a foam free version of my fly was developed through the inspiration of my good friend Adrian Cortes during our trip to BC in 2014.  During an evening fly tying jam session at our motel, Adrian made the request of "how about tying a wang, but without foam"?

While Adrian liked my foam creations and fished them, his more traditional sensibilities lead him towards the Lemire patterns tied with natural materials.

As I sat at the vise during that evening tying session in 2014, a fly emerged with the proportions of my foam fly with a touch of Greaseliner influence with the rear facing hair wing and butts forming the head of the fly.  That initial version utilized a bit of white skunk (sourced from Aaron Ostoj) as an overwing for visibility.  The fly pictured utilizes an upright wing of pink calftail for visibility.  I guess I am not happy if a fly doesn't have an "indicator" post of some sort.

As Adrian, Steve Turner, and I viewed the finished fly that evening in BC, we felt optimistic about it's potential.   Sure enough Adrian was raising and hooking steelhead on the pattern the very next day.

As we pondered a name for the fly, memories of my days as a drummer in club bands in the late 80s came to mind when Adrian was pitching his tying requests when I was at the vise.  In those long ago days in various smoke filled venues with intoxicated patrons, the most frequent request came as a drunken yell of "Freebird"!!  Hence the name for the fly.  The name is also fitting since this fly is foam free.


  1. Todd, I'm diggin' that Freebird !!
    I'm not quite there with the foam in-hand, but I'm enjoying fishing yours ;) For now the deer hair has been spinning in my fingers and I will say I will try to tie the Freebird ... should be a nice offering for this fall's salar hunt out on the Margaree.

  2. Thanks Mike, glad that you like this pattern. Can't wait to see what your version will look like!

  3. Well, I'm going to try my best to make it look like yours ... no guarantees though - lol

    1. I know you, yours will look exquisitely better than mine, bring it!