Learn how to tie the Warden's Worry Streamer, including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly-tying skills here.

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A fly pattern that comes from our home state of Maine, the Warden's Worry. was invented by Maine Game Warden, Joseph Stickney, in the late 1920 or early 1930's. This is a favorite streamer for trout and landlocked salmon in Maine, but a pattern that you can take all over the globe and fish it with success. This streamer is easy to tie and works well in both still and flowing water, and it's bright color pattern makes it easy to see in clear water situations, making for visual eats that'll be stained in your brain for seasons to come.

Material List

Step One

Begin your thread with a jam knot roughly one-and-a-half eye's length behind the eye. Then, create a thread base that extends rearward to the point of the hook.

Step Two

Tie in your UNI Mylar just where you ended your thread, and be sure to tie it in with the silver side facing you (this will ensure that when you wrap the tinsel, the gold shows on the fly).

Step Three

Once tied in, wrap the tinsel rearward and then forward again. Tie off once your tag is wrapped and trim the excess.

Step Four

Select a red strung saddle hackle and strip off a bunch of fibers--be sure to select a webby feather and you don't want to overdress the tail. Once you've selected your fibers, measure the tail to be one-and-a-half times the gap of the hook, and tie the fibers in just in front of the tag. Instead of trimming the excess, wrap your thread over it all the way to the initial tie-in point.

Step Five

Tie in the oval tinsel where you initially started your thread and wrap back to the tail. While wrapping, you want to pull the tinsel towards the back side of the hook. This will put it in a good place for your first wrap of ribbing.

Step Six

Prep the chenille by pulling some of the fibers off to expose the thread core; doing this makes tying it in both easier and cleaner. Once the thread core is exposed, tie it in just in front of the tail and wrap forward to the initial tie-in point.

Step Seven

Now wind the chenille up the body to the initial tie-in point. If you have a rotary vise, it makes crafting a clean body just a bit faster/easier. Once you've wrapped the body, tie off the chenille and trim the excess.

Step Eight

Now wrap the oval tinsel up the body of the fly using evenly-spaced open wraps--this step adds just a bit of flash while also increasing the durability of the chenille. Once you've made it to the end of the body, tie the tinsel off and trim the excess.

Step Nine

Prepare a hen saddle feather by stripping the marabou-like fibers from the base of the feather, then pull the fibers towards the bottom of the feather and trim off the tip. Once the feather is prepared, tie it in just in front of the chenille.

Step Ten

Take three turns of the feather to create a throat. It's important to pull the fibers rearward while wrapping so that they flow well. After you've taken your three turns, tie the feather off and trim the excess.

Step Eleven

Bring your thread back to your hackle. Then, wet your fingers and sweep the feathers downward to create a throat. Once you have them swept down, take a few turns over the fibers to hold them in place.

Step Twelve

Now grab a white bucktail (another choice is to just use a brown bucktail, but we find that the color variation on the backside of a white tail is just a bit better) and trim a bunch off of the back of the tail. You don't want the bunch to be too bulky nor too sparse. Once you've selected a bunch, even the tips in a hair stacker and measure them to be just beyond the tail of the fly. Tie the fibers in on top of the shank to create a wing and trim the excess before creating a clean head with your thread.

Step Thirteen

Now do a whip finish to complete the fly and coat the head in head cement.

The Warden's Worry is now complete and ready to be swung, stripped, or dead drifted into the mouth of the next trout you encounter...but don't discredit this fly for other species, as it works wonders on smallmouth and panfish just the same.