The Fish Taco was designed so it wouldn’t snag up on the bottom or other in-river debris when fishing deep.
By Jeff Hickman
Fly Background: At the time, all winter steelhead flies were dominated by weighted flies in order to reach deep depths steelhead preferred at that time of the season. A problem with weighted flies at times is they would snag up. Pinpointing this specifically led to the development of the Fish Taco, an unweighted Intruder-style or shank-style streamer back in the late 1990s which is around at the same time in which the famous Intruder movement increased in popularity. I designed this fly so it wouldn’t snag up on the bottom or other in-river debris. As far as fishing goes, it performs well in faster current flows yet softer flows and not get snagged up.
Tying Tips: This fly can be tied in multiple color combinations with black and purple variations being highly productive. Black and purple dominant in glacial systems. An important sidenote: the commercial model is overdressed with too much flash making it too flashy. Only 3-strands of flash need to be center-tied to exhibit the best behavior on the swing. Keep material selection sparse.
How To Fish Best fished with a RIO T-11 sink-tip or something else comparable sink-tip material. Since this is an unweigthed fly, long leaders don’t work well. It his highly recommended to use 3-foot leader (maximum) otherwise the fly will get stuck on surface and take long period of time to achieve depth.
Author’s Bio: Jeff Hickman developed his fly fishing skillset at the age of 10 while spending countless hours tying flies experimenting with materials and tying strategies to pursue his favorite fish: steelhead. Unlike most kids his age, Hickman grew up in a lodge on Mount Hood where he helped his mother manage it eventually spending his earnings on first Spey rod by age 12. Into his teens and 20s, Jeff guided in multiple destinations throuhghout Oregon, Alaska and the Bahamas. Today, he is owner of Fish the Swing Guide Service guiding steelhead anglers on the Deschutes, Clackmas rivers in Oregon and the Dean River in British Columbia through Kimsquit Bay Lodge. His most famous achievement is landing a giant trevally (GT) on a fly tied on a flip flop showcased on You Tube and other multimedia sources.