How to Tie the Wood Special Streamer
Learn how to tie the Wood Special Streamer, including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly-tying skills here.
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Last week, we went over an excellent pattern from Maine with the Warden's Worry, and this week, we're going to tie another solid Maine streamer. Designed by Joe Sterling in the 60s, the Wood Special is a brightly colored streamer that's sure to catch the eyes of fish around you, and whether you're fishing a remote pond in Maine or a tailwater in the midwest, this pattern is effective nearly everywhere. We've found this to be a great pattern when targeting wild brookies, but it's also equally effective when fishing for stocked trout and even warmwater species like large and smallmouth bass. Tie it in sizes 4 through 10 and fish it down deep on a sink tip or higher in the water column on a floating line, and you'll quickly see why this famous Maine fly stays on-hand all year long.
- Hook: Daiichi 2220 4X-Long Streamer Hooks (size: 6; can be tied sizes 2 through 10)
- Thread: Danville 6/0 (70 Denier) Flymaster Thread (color: black)
- Tail: Hareline Golden Pheasant Tippets
- Body: Hareline Chenille (color: fluorescent orange; size: medium)
- Ribbing: UNI Clear Mylar Tinsel (color: silver/gold; size: 1/32")
- Wing: Hareline Mallard Flank Feathers (color: wood duck gold)
- Collar: Hareline Hen Saddle (color: grizzly)
Secure your thread with a jam knot roughly one eye's length behind the hook's eye. Once secure, run your thread back to the hook's barb.
Select a golden pheasant tippet feather and cut a few fibers from the stem. Cutting the fibers instead of pulling them keeps them aligned well. Once cut off, measure the fibers to be about the length of the hook's gap and tie them in on top of the hook's shank. Then, run your thread up the shank back to the initial tie-in point.
Pull off 4"-5" of UNI-Mylar and tie it in with the gold side facing you (this will allow the silver side to show when wrapped). Once tied in at the front of the fly, wind your thread all the way back to be just in front of the tail--this aids in having a clean and consistent body.
Prep the chenille by stripping away some of the fibers to expose the thread core; doing this makes it easier to tie in and prevents any unnecessary bumps in the body of the fly. Once the core is exposed, tie it in just in front of the fly's tail and advance the thread to your initial tie-in point.
Now wind the chenille with close, touching wraps all the way to the initial tie-in point. Using the vise's rotary function makes this a bit easier, and once you've wrapped all the way to the tie-in point, tie the chenille off and trim the excess.
Now wrap the ribbing up the body of the fly using open, evenly-spaced wraps. Once you've ribbed the body, tie the ribbing off and trim the excess.
Select a mallard flank feather that will extend just beyond the fly's tail and tie it in on top of the shank, directly in front of the body; once tied in, trim the excess.
Select a grizzly hen hackle and prepare it by removing the fluffy fibers at the base. Now tie the feather in by the tip.
Now take three or four turns of the hackle. While winding the hackle, be sure to sweep the fibers rearward so that the collar lays nicely. After winding the collar, tie the feather off and trim the excess.
Create a clean head with your thread, and while doing so, take a few wraps that closely abut the collar in order to get it to lay closely to the body. Once this is done, you can whip finish the fly and add head cement.
The Wood Special is now ready to be fished the next time you're on the water.