Bulkley Bastard

Bulkley Bastard

Tier:  Garry Needoba


Scroll down for tying instructions.


Hook: # 1 Eagle Claw 1197B or #2-6 Mustad 36890.
Thread: Danville's. monofilament fine (smoked).
Tail: Mottled turkey quill.
Rib: Edge Bright (cut in fine strip).
Body: Lead wire, Mylar piping.
Wing: Black bear, black marabou, Krystal Flash, elk hair.
Head: Spun elk hair trimmed to shape.

History:  In late October 1989 I was off to visit an old fishing buddy, Jim Ismond and wife Kathy, of Northland Steelhead Lodge on the Bulkley River.  Conditions in late October may not be the best, with fall freshets coloring the water and falling temperatures making the fish more lethargic, so I wanted a fly that would come through for me if I was presented with the worst of conditions.  I wanted a fly that would be in front of their noses on every cast so it had to be moderately weighted and darker in color to show up in turbit water.


Several modified versions of known patterns were tied but I kept coming back to two known producers, the Black Leech and the Muddler Minnow.  So I thought, why not combine the best features of the two and dress up the end result.  The Bulkley Bastard was created.


This fly has been fished with great success over the years and I now use it as my only wet fly for steelhead.  It is fished as a mine sweeper to see what the dry fly has missed on my favorite waters.


1.  Double wrap hook with tying thread and cement base.
2.  Lay fine lead wire along the length of the hook to the shank, tie down and then wrap the lead wire forward from the shank to the thorax.
3.  Tie on the tail and then the edge bright ribbing.
4.  With the tying thread at the tail section, slide a Mylar sleeve over the head of the fly and anchor at the tail section.  Then work the thread forward to the thorax to give the Mylar sleeve a ribbed body.
5.  Wrap edge bright ribbing in place and anchor.
6.  At the thorax place a small drop of cement and anchor down a small tuff of black bear hair.  Be sure to remove all fine hair before cementing.
7.  Cut 6 - 8 small pieces of Krystal Flash the length of the black bear hair and anchor down over the black bear hair.
8.  Select a small tuff of black marabou and tie over the Krystal Flash.
9.  Add another 6 to 8 pieces of Krystal Flash.
10.  Add another drop of cement and then cut a plug of elk hair making sure to remove all fin hairs.  Tie down, making sure to leave about 1/4 inch at the head of the hair so it will stand up to start the head of the fly.
11.  Spin on more short pieces of elk hair to form the head.
12.  Whip finish the head and with scissors shape the head.

Additional information:  The black bear hair will lift the marabou off the body of the fly and let the marabou react to the currents in the river.  The Krystal Flash gives life to the fly and adds depth when looking into the fly.  The elk hair gives more depth to the fly and acts as a shell to protect the soft marabou.

Fly Tying and Fly Fishing: