Green Butt Skunk
By Gary Lewis
The steelhead lay in a pocket of water about eighteen inches deep. I approached from downstream to within ten feet of where it lay and cast a Green Butt Skunk, letting it tumble down with the current. The fly was swept along the far side of the fish and I cast again.
This time the six pound hen opened her mouth and sucked the fly in. I set the hook and she turned her side to the current, heading downstream to the pool below, line peeling off my reel.
The Skunk is probably the best known steelhead fly and demands a spot in every steelheader's fly box out of respect to tradition. As many old salmon and steelhead anglers know, a little chartreuse added to a bait or lure can mean the difference between fishing and catching. The twist of chenille that turns a Skunk into a Green Butt Skunk makes a good fish catcher even better.
Tie in a tail of red-dyed duck quill or hackle fibers. Wind a green butt on the fly and tie in silver tinsel and black chenille. Tie the chenille forward then rib with the tinsel. Tie in white calf tail for a wing then wind several turns of a soft, flowing black hackle.