Comet Steelhead Fly Tying Instructions

Comet Steelhead Fly Tying Instructions
Originating in the Pacific Northwest, the pattern for the Comet fly is simple to tie and is effective at catching steelhead, as well as other types of salmon. Featuring lead wire wrapped around the shaft, this tie will sink quickly to the bottom of the water, where its flashy style and erratic movements will catch the attention of large fish. Chartreuse, blue and pink are the most common colors used for tying Comet flies, however, any color can be used.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mustad 7970 #2 hook
  • Lead wire, .03-inch
  • Flat-waxed chartreuse nylon thread
  • Chrome XL bead chain
  • Iceabou hackle
  • Wire cutters
  • Head cement
Step 1
Wrap the lead wire 12 times around the hook shaft in a coil, just behind the eye. Make sure to leave a small gap between the eye and the end of the wire. Wiggle the ends of the wire until they make a clean break to remove the excess.
Step 2
Slide the nylon thread between one of the coils of the wire at the end close to the eye of the hook, then tightly wrap the thread up to fill in the space between the wire and the eye.
Step 3
Cut a segment of two beads from the chain with the wire cutters and place them directly behind the eye of the hook so the chain between the beads is perpendicular to the hook shaft. Wrap the thread in an "X" pattern around the hook shaft and the chain between the two beads until they are held securely. The beads should form the eyes of the fly.
Step 4
Wrap the nylon thread back over itself, then over the lead wire three times to hold it in place. Taper the thread from the rear end of the wire to the beginning of the curve in the hook shaft.
Step 5
Twist a section of the Iceabou hackle lightly and wrap the thread around it three times to hold it in place on the hook shaft right before the curve. The hackle should be 1.5 times as long as the hook shank. Distribute the excess hackle so the majority of it hangs in the front by the hook eye.
Step 6
Coil the thread back to the front of the hook. Wrap the hackle around the shaft of the hook up to the front of the lead wire; do not twist the hackle as you wrap it. Tie the hackle into place with the thread, just behind the eye of the hook.
Step 7
Cut the hackle so the length still attached to the hook is as long as the distance between the eye and the rear end of the wrapped body.
Step 8
Tie a length of hackle equal to the length remaining attached to the hook on the underside of the body, directly below the hackle you cut in step 7.
Step 9
Pull the hackle threads gently backwards along the hook shaft and make several tight wraps of thread that push the hackle collar tightly against the edge created by the lead wire. This will force the hackle threads around the collar to stand up.
Step 10
Whip finish at the front of the fly and apply head cement to secure the knot.

Article Written By Jacob Hendriks

Jacob Hendriks' work has appeared in "The Western Front," "The Planet Magazine" and He graduated from Western Washington University with a major in international business management and a minor in Community Health. Hendriks' passion for sports nutrition and fitness, combined with experience as a personal trainer, has led him to pursue health-oriented journalism.

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