Thunder Creek Silver Shiner
Welcome to the fly of the month! Over the past three months, we’ve tied a dry fly, a nymph, and an emerger. This month we’re going to tackle the next major category of flies, the streamer. The fly I’ve chosen is one of the famous Thunder Creek series, the Thunder Creek Silver Shiner. It’s a great baitfish imitation, and by changing colors or adding some flash, you can create variations of the pattern to address your specific needs and preferences. It also allows me to introduce some additional technique tips that you can utilize on other flies. So, without further ado, let’s begin tying the…
THUNDER CREEK SILVER SHINER
HOOK: streamer (3x long), size 6 - 8
BODY: oval silver tinsel
WING: brown and white bucktail
HEAD: the bucktail fibers, pulled back and coated with epoxy
EYES: white and black paint
- Attach the thread to the hook at the eye and create a thread base to the bend. Return the thread to just behind the eye.
- Tie in the oval sliver tinsel at the eye and secure it along the shank of the hook to the bend. Holding the tinsel taut while securing it to the shank will help you fasten it securely and effectively. It will also help you keep the tinsel straight, preventing it from spiraling around the shank as you tie it in. Make a few extra wraps at the bend of the hook to firmly secure the tinsel there (this will prevent it from sliding as you begin to wrap the body), then return the thread to just behind the eye.
- Wrap the tinsel up the shank to form the body. Tie it off just behind the eye and trim the excess.
- Tie in a bunch of white bucktail underneath the shank, tips pointing forward. Don’t stack the tips, leave them staggered. This will allow the hairwing to taper toward the tail of the shiner, creating a more natural profile. The length of the bunch should be about twice the length of the hook. Clip the butt ends to a length equal to about 20% of the shank. They will form an underbody, if you will, for the head.
- Attach a bunch of brown bucktail to the top of the shank in the same way you tied in the white bunch. When finished, leave the thread hanging at a point just behind where you clipped the butt ends of the bucktail fibers.
- Pull the bucktail fibers back toward the bend of the hook, taking care to keep the brown on top and the white on the bottom. It takes some practice to be able to keep the colors separate, but after a few tries, you should be able to do it without too much difficulty. Make about 10 to 12 wraps of thread to secure the fibers and form the head, whip finish and clip off the thread.
- Coat the head with 5 minute epoxy. You’ll have to rotate the fly until the epoxy sets to ensure an even application, otherwise it will sag and become asymmetrical. Once dry, you can paint on the eyes. I like to take a round toothpick and clip off the tip of the end, creating a small circular stamp that can be used to apply the paint easily and effectively. Apply the white paint first, allow it to dry, then use a second toothpick with its end clipped closer to the tip to create a smaller circular stamp to apply the pupil. Once dry, your silver shiner is ready to fish.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-730-7928.