Spencer Higa's SOS

sos done sideI was first introduced to this pattern while fishing for Apaches on the White River. A buddy was slaying them, and I was struggling to pick them up on my rotation into the "hole". He offered up this little fly and said it was the SOS (Save Our Skin) and boy did it. Changing to this fly as the dropper yielded a fish on almost every drift.

Originated by Spencer Higa and sold by Orvis, this awesome pattern has been a go-to fly for me just about everywhere I've fished for trout with droppers. Give it a try and see if its just the Distress Signal you needed to land more fish.

Materials List
Hook: Size 16-22
Weight:  Appropriate Sized Bead
Thread: Black 16/0
Tail: Melanistic or Black Pheasant Tail Fibers
Body: Thread
Rib:  Silver SM Wire
Thorax:  Black Rabbit
Wingcase:  Red Floss
Legs:  Black Crystal Flash

 

Quick video at the bottom of the Step by Step.

 

Tying Instructions

sos step02

sos step02
Start by putting a bead on your hook and laying down an even thread base to the tail tie in point. I like to go down into the bend a little to give the final bug some shape.

 

sos step01
sos step01

sos step05

sos step05
Select about 4 fibers from your pheasant tail and tie them in a little long.

 

sos step03
sos step03
sos step04
sos step04

sos step09

sos step09
Tie in your small  UTC silver wire and wrap back up to the bead with nice even touching wraps to build a smooth underbody with no wire showing through.

Wrap your wire forward with nice spaced wraps and tie off behind the bead. We will be dubbing a thorax here so no need to get it too close to the bead.

 

sos step06
sos step06
sos step07
sos step07
sos step08
sos step08

sos step11

sos step11
Tie in your red floss, securing it back a bit from the bead to make room for the thorax.

 

sos step10
sos step10

sos step13

sos step13
Dub a nice fat thorax. The original pattern calls for Black Rabbit, but I like to use a dubbing I found called Quick Descent dubbing. Its a metal dubbing that adds a little extra weight to the fly and dubs nice and buggy with a little sparkle.

 

sos step12
sos step12

sos step14

sos step14
Fold over the Red Floss to create the wing split, taking care to keep it centered and on top.

 

sos step20

sos step20
Tie in 3 strands of Black Crystal Flash for legs. First on the near side and secure with 2 wraps, then fold up and over to the far side securing again with 2 wraps.

Trim to length.

 

sos step15
sos step15
sos step16
sos step16
sos step17
sos step17
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sos step18
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sos step19

sos step22

sos step22
Dub a little extra to cover the tie in of the floss and legs and whip finish.

 

sos step21
sos step21

sos done side

sos done side

 

sos done top

sos done top

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