Tying and Fishing the Booby Fly – Firetail Booby – Sample from the book

Firetail Booby

I invented this pattern more than a decade ago. I was inspired by flies like Jack Gartside’s Soft Hackle Streamer and a lot of the colourful steelhead flies.

What I wanted was hot colours and flash, but I also wanted it to be a little bit subdued. The solution was to hide the hot stuff in a dark front hackle.

My first two takes on this style was the Black and Orange and the Black and Magenta Firetails. They are still my favourites – especially for cold water situations.



Black and Orange Firetail Booby

Hook: 2X to 4X long streamer hook #2 – 10 (mostly 6 – 8)

Tread: Black

Tail: Orange marabou with gold flashabou fibres

Hackle: Palmered orange soft hen saddle on rear half, black on front half

Eyes: White foam eyes

I normally choose a 2X to 4X long streamer hook for these flies. Start by tying in the eyes. Go down the shank and tie in the marabou tail. After that, tie in a small amount of flashabou fibres.
Tie in a soft fibered hackle feather from a hen saddle or soft patch. Front side facing towards the hook eye. Use the soft fluffy fibres near the base of the hackle.
Wind the hackle palmer style over the rear half of the hook shank – don’t take more than 4 turns. Tie off and cut surplus hackle.
Tie in another soft hackle feather in contrasting colour (black). Repeat the previous procedure.
Make a whip finish in front of the eyes – and the Black and Orange Firetail Booby is ready for trout hunting. Make sure to make a Black and Magenta version as well.


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