The Karluk Flash Fly, more simply referred to as a "Flash Fly," is one of the most widely used and successful flies in Alaska. Its origin was fostered around Kodiak Island's Karluk River, but its range has become limitless as anglers find it useful wherever it's fished. And, although its greatest following may be with the Silver salmon crowd, it has proven to be very versatile and effective for many of the gamefish fly anglers typically pursue.
As the name implies, the fly is the epitome of FLASH. It's made with a body, tail and wing of bright flashabou, with an accented collar of dyed hackle at the head. The original pattern consists of a silver body and red collar, although several variations have emerged over the years, which may rival the original at any given time. The boundaries of this pattern may only be limited by the tier's creativity. And, regardless of color combinations, the intense flash and movement of the materials seem irresistible to fish, time and again.
1. Wrap tying thread from the hook eye to the bend to form a base.
2. Wrap lead from above the hook point to one-quarter inch behind the eye. Secure.
3. Tie in a six-inch clump of Flashabou near the hook bend with approximately one half-inch extending rearward to form the tail. Bring thread forward.
4. Leaving the tail material secured near the bend, wrap the Flashabou forward to just behind the eye to form the body. Wrap this down with the excess material extending forward over the eye.
5. Tie in one-inch piece of Crystalflash one-eighth inch behind the eye on top of the shank to extend rearward forming the underwing.
6. Pull back the excess Flashabou from the body, which was secured behind the eye. Secure this in a rearward fashion to form the overwing. Trim the overwing, underwing and tail to be nearly the same length.
7. Tie in the saddle hackle behind hook eye, then palmer in place making several wraps. Tie off.
8. Using three fingers of non-thread hand, pull hackle barbs rearward, then wrap thread back onto the base of the hackle to hold in rearward pointing direction.
9. Whip finish.
Note: This pattern varies from the original with the addition of the Crystalflash underwing.
Tied by Brad Hanson
Photo by B. Hanson ©2002