Game Changer Style - Fish Spine Articulated Streamer

game changer on viseThis style of fly is gaining a lot of popularity since the Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Fish Spines hit the market. Originated by Blane Chocklett of New Angle Fishing Company this style of fly allows the fly fisherman to present a large, full streamer to the fish with tons of action, more so than just a large EP style baitfish pattern. The stepped up in length articulated spines allow the fly to actually impart a swimming action when stripped in, its quite impressive the first time you see it in the water.

This is just the way I've been tying them as of late, still learning new things each time I tie them to improve the overall result and speed up the tie. I started tying these with dubbing brushes made from silver dubbing I have an abundance of but for this size fly I've found you need longer fibers to get a nice fat profile. I'm now using Congo Hair from Fly Tyers Dungeon cut at about 2" long and spun into the dubbing brush by its tips. I'm still using the dubbing in a loop for the first section, its just too small to try and deal with the dubbing brush.

 

Materials List
Hook: Size 4 or larger 
Thread: UTC Ultra 140 White
Segments: Articulated Fish Spine from Flymen Fishing Co.
10mm, 15mm, 20mm, 25mm 
Tail:  Silver Dubbing Coated in UV Resin
Body: Dubbing Brushes made from Congo Hair/EP Fibers
Eyes: 6-8mm 
Color:  Chartpak Markers

 

Tying Instructions

game changer streamer-step02Start by securing the 10mm section (smallest) in your vise. You can clip the bottom of the section off, I just wrap it up like the other sections (never know if I'll want to tie a stinger hook on in the field or not)

Take a large clump of matching dubbing or fibers and tie them in securely.

 

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game changer streamer-step06Make a dubbing loop and capture some more dubbing or fibers in and wrap to the eye. This is easier than trying to tie in a dubbing brush and making 1-2 turns in such a tight space. Tie off and whip finish. Put a little superglue on the head wraps to secure everything. Brush your fibers up and trim close.

 

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game changer streamer-step10Fan out the fibers you tied in for the tail and apply a small amount of flexible UV Resin at the base. Let it soak in, you can speed this up by using your bobbin to work it into the fibers at the base of the tail. This will lock the fibers in the fanned out shape. Now apply some more resin and work it in on both sides and cure.

Take your utility scissors and trim the tail to shape.

 

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game changer streamer-step13Grab the 15mm spine section and run the open end through the eye of the tail section. Secure this in the vise.

 

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game changer streamer-step17Lay down a good thread base and tie in your dubbing brush. Wrap the brush forward to the eye with close wraps. Taking care to brush out the fibers on each wrap. Try not to trap anything under the brush, we need all the fibers and bulk we can get. Clip the brush off and wrap a head. Whip finish and glue. Take your bodkin and pick out any trapped fibers then a toothbrush and groom the fibers back and out of the way.

I like using a toothbrush as it doesn't pull any of the fibers out, and blends them in the next steps very well.

 

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game changer streamer-step23Hook the next spine section into the eye of the previous and repeat the steps above to create another body segment. And then the next

 

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game changer streamer-step26Secure your hook in the vise and lay down a thread base.

I like to use 40lb Spectra Braid for my articulated flies, its strong, doesn't add a lot of bulk and its fairly inexpensive for a lifetime supply.

Tie in a few inches of braid leaving a tag at the front of the hook.

 

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game changer streamer-step30Thread the spine onto the the braid and bring it back to the top of the hook shank and secure. When you get to the front of the fly, fold the tag ends back down and secure them. This will lock the braid onto the shank and it wont be able to slip at all. Add some super glue to lock it all in.

 

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game changer streamer-step31Tie in your dubbing brush and build the last secion of the body on the hook shank. Tie a neat head and whip finish. Add some glue to lock the threads.

 

game changer streamer-step32Brush out all the fibers using the toothbrush and pick out anything trapped down using your bodkin. I find it easiest to pick it out from the back to the front of the fly. Put your bodkin in from behind the segment and pick forward, the fibers come right up.

 

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game changer streamer-step35Use a sharp pair of long scissors and start trimming the body to shape. Take your first few long cuts while the hair is flared up, then use the toothbrush to groom things back and trim accordingly.

 

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game changer streamer-step39Roll the fly over on its side, and apply some superglue where you want the eyes. Stick it down, and hold it with your bodkin for a few seconds to get it to bond into the fibers really well. Roll the fly over to the otherside and repeat.

Make any final trims and the fly is good to go!

 

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You can take some Chartpak markers and add some color if you desire.

game changer fly

Overall fly is about 4 inches long.

game changer streamer-size

 

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