Learn how to tie the Black Ghost fly pattern including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly tying skills here.

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The Black Ghost is a traditional feather wing fly that creates the profile of a baitfish or a smelt. These flies have long been used to target brook trout, landlocked salmon, and lake trout in Maine and across the northeastern part of the US. If you prefer to fish with a Trout Spey rod, the Black Ghost is a phenomenal pattern to swing through riffles and runs to fool feeding fish. It's also a lot of fun to tie! Tune in as Jared provides step-by-step instructions to tie this classic fly pattern.


Step One:

Start your thread, wrap rearward to the bend of the hook, and tie in the tail. Choose several fibers of Strung Saddle Hackle, align the tips, and tie them in at the bend of the hook. After tying in the tail, return your thread to just behind the eye of the hook.

Step Two:

Tie in the French Tinsel just behind the hook eye and wrap your thread rearward to secure it in place. After wrapping back to the tail of the fly, return your thread back to the tie in point of the Tinsel.

Step Three:

Tie in the Antron Yarn just behind the eye of the hook then wrap your thread all the way back to the tail. After securing the Yarn to the hook shank, return your thread to just behind the eye of the hook. Next, wrap the Yarn up the hook shank taking touching turns. After wrapping the Yarn up the hook shank once, wrap it rearward then back up to just behind the eye of the hook taking touching turns the whole way. This will create a little bulk and a lifelike taper. Tie off the Yarn and trim any excess.

Step Four:

Next, wrap the Tinsel over the Yarn body to rib the fly. You can either do this with your hands or (if you have a rotary vise) spin your vise to rib the fly. Tie off the Tinsel just behind the eye of the hook and trim off any excess. 

Step Five:

Choose another chunk of Yellow Hackle and tie it in on the underside of the hook shank. The Hackle should be roughly the same density as the tail of the fly. Rotate your vise and tie the Hackle in on the underside of the hook shank. 

Step Six:

Next, tie in the wing feathers. Choose two feathers of American Hackle and measure the feathers so they extend slightly past the tail. Strip off any unnecessary fibers and tie one feather in on each side of the hook shank. Capture the feathers with loose wraps, position them where you want them, trim the butts, then build a small head with your thread. 

Step Seven:

Tie in the Jungle Cock on both sides of the hook shank to create eyes for the streamer. Trim or cover up the butts with thread wraps then throw a whip finish. 

Step Eight:

Add UV Clear Fly Finish to the head of the fly for increased durability. 

Step Nine:

And that's the Black Ghost. This is a great traditional streamer pattern for Salmon, Brook Trout, and more. 


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