Monday, May 26, 2014

Tanner's LBT (Little Brown Trout)

I recently tied up a batch of Deep Green Beauties for a gentleman from Michigan, Jay G.  He's interested in big brown trout, and likes to swing featherwing streamers as well as soft hackles.   He asked me if I tied anything in the way of a Little Brown Trout (LBT) streamer.  I didn't, but did a good search of Google images and looked in all the books I have, hoping to find something that would work for him.  I suggested the standard hairwing LBT to him; he's used it to no good effect.
There are some other barred featherwing flies out there, but none struck me as particularly similar to a brown trout.  Time to hit the drawing board!

Viewing a few hundred brown trout images, the yellow in their body struck me first and foremost, and then, of course, there's the "dots."  I've seen brook and brown trout streamers with "painted-on" dots...don't care for that.   And then there's the silvery belly.   I really like tying Carrie Stevens'-style streamers with their cheeks of silver pheasant or wood duck or other feathers, but didn't see where a cheek would improve the look of the fly to a big brown looking for dinner, so I bagged the idea of a cheek.

Long story short, here's what I came up with:

This is one labor and material-intensive fly, but I really think its going to be worth the effort (Jay does too, can't wait for his first report on it!)

There are six feathers in the wing (three on a side), plus the Jungle Cock eye, plucked from these capes:

The yellow is an Whiting American rooster cape, the Cree came from eBay awhile ago (either that or I stole it from my buddy Wally; can't remember. heh heh), and the barred ginger came from my recent visit to Doak's in Doaktown, NB ( (Had a nice visit with Bruce Waugh, helpful Doak employee who also ties many, many of their flies, while I was there, too.)

I think the strong shaft of the Whiting cape will help prevent the wing from wrapping around the hook.

I use the same process to tie this fly as I do my Deep Green Beauty - you can check out how I tie that here:
Glued up, the wings look like this:
The body is actually the easy, least time-consuming part of the fly.  Looks like this:
I mount the wings at about the 11 and 1 o'clock positions at the head of the fly (a la' Carrie Stevens method):
Finished fly (again):
A bunch on the drying rack, heading to Jay tomorrow:

The pattern:

Hook - Mustad 3665A (sizes 4 and 6 in this instance)
Thread - Orvis 8/0 Pale Yellow
Wing - Whiting American Rooster dyed yellow under Barred Ginger under Cree (one set for each side); Jungle    Cock eye
Tag and Rib - Lagartun Metallic Gold Oval Tinsel, size small
Body - Bright Yellow Uni-floss
Belly - Hareline UV Minnow Belly and a Golden Pheasant crest over that.
Wing Flash -  Cascade Crest Tools Orange Crystal Mirror Flash.

I don't usually name a fly before it fools a fish, but I couldn't resist this time.  Here's hoping!  
UPDATE!  Ken F., friend of Jay that I tied this order for, just informed me that he hooked a trout on his first cast with the LBT I sent him!  So the name sticks!  Very cool.  Thanks for letting me know, Ken!           


  1. Replies
    1. That's a high compliment coming from a tyer of your stature, Ron, thanks!!!

  2. Nice looking fly Gary. I especially like the gluing idea! That certainly beats my method of stacking the feathers from the far side dull side up on my bench then the feathers from the front side on top of the others shiny side up. The real challenge is to try to pick this group up from the bench and apply them while keeping everything aligned. Darn near impossible IMO.
    I'll give this technique a try the next time I get an order for full feather streamers! Now I try to avoid those orders since only 1 of 3 usually makes my quality control criteria.
    Brian C

    1. Brian, I'll do anything to streamline the process of tying these streamers, and the glue-up does just that, and IMHO, makes for a neater final fly. Glad you like the fly, and see you this summer!

  3. Sweet lookin fly. I'll have to try to tie some....

    1. I look forward to seeing your tie, Eunan...and maybe a pic with a nice brown with one in its jaw!

  4. One of the prettiest and well executed flies I've seen for quite some time. You've motivated me to try this one!!!!

  5. The LBT is a tasty looking fly, indeed. I will be putting it to the test on the 6th-7th but I am already plotting strategy…. Hopefully I'll have some photos to send to Gary after that expedition. Cheers!

    1. Jay, I'm looking forward to those pics! Thanks for the idea to tie this fly!

  6. Now where did I put that Cree cape!?!

    1. LOL, I wouldn't, er, spend a lot of time looking for it. heh heh.

  7. oh warren where are u

  8. Hello Garry.

    I'm always surprised and happy when I come across a new blog, and such a nice one. I'm following and hope you will call in a and follow me@