Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Sneaky

I first ran into the Sneaky, in its blue morph, in 2009 on the Miramichi in Boisetown, New Brunswick.  Great guide and good friend Renate Bullock had given one to my fishing partner, Wally.  I didn't see the fly until after he had landed a grilse on it at Camp Pool.  This was in July.  I think my first reaction was something like, "What IS that thing?"  Really unlike any atlantic salmon fly I'd ever seen.   And for that week, it landed its one fish, and was put away.

During the following winter, always looking for tying projects, I remembered the blue Sneaky, and asked Renate to email me a photo of the fly.  She did...and it looked worse to me - as a salmon fly - than it did the first time I saw it.  I rummaged around my fly tying books, and found an orange version of the Sneaky in Paul Marriner's Modern Atlantic Salmon Flies.  I "googled" the Sneaky, and found it nicely tucked away on a site,, owned, I believe, by Joel Sampson.  He reported that the fly was designed by Mike Boudreau ca. 1996 for slow, low water conditions.

Well, cutting to the chase, I tied up a batch of Sneakies, both orange and blue, over the winter of 2010.  Its a small fly; I tied a few in size 6, a few 8's, and a batch of 10's.  Forward to September, 2011 at Tuckaway Camps (now Bullock's Lodge)...the water is low and slow.   I landed fish first on an Ally's Shrimp, then switched to a Cascade - both flies mainly orange.  But the fish were hard to come by.  Sneakies and their little jungle cock eyes stared out at me from their fly box home; if flies could beg to be used, they were doing it.  So I tied on a number 10, and things started to happen.  The number 10 orange Sneaky became the fly of the week; one of the sports in camp landed 2 salmon and 2 grilse on it the last evening in camp. 

Here's a little army of blue Sneaky's:

It's a simple little pattern (Orange morph):
Tag:  oval gold tinsel
Tail:  2 or 3 strands of your orange flash du jour
Body:  hot orange floss (I have a couple old wooden spools of a Danville orange that I can't        find anymore that is awesome for this fly - or any that needs hot orange. 
Rib:  oval gold tinsel 
Wing:  tied in at the head, a small batch of polar bear and 3 or 4 lengths of flash
Eyes:  JC
Throat:  Orange or white or none at all hackle.  I use Whiting hen hackle when I remember to put a throat on.
Head: Red (I love Gordon Griffiths 14/0 thread for all my flies, but especially for little jobbers like the Sneaky

     And a little evidence of the power of the Sneaky!  Walt Scheffler landed 2 grilse and 2 salmon, including this big boy, on number 10 Sneakies tied by great friend and wonderful guide Renate Bullock ( the last night in camp (photo courtesy Renate Bullock).  Looks like I was designated rod caddy that evening!:

Mike Boudreau's (the Sneaky's creator) brother Bob has a lovely website about fishing for atlantic salmon in Nova Scotia.  Bob writes delightfully of the reasons so many of us fish for atlantic salmon.  Check his site out: .

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