Keith Fulsher’s Tying and Fishing the Thunder Creek Series was first published in 1973, and ever since, these cool little baitfish patterns have been catching all kinds of fish—from trout to bass to saltwater species. The unique reverse-tied head pushes a lot of water and gives the pattern good action during the retrieve. (If you are intrigued by Thunder Creeks, check out my friend Dave Klausmeyer’s book, Thunder Creek Flies: Tying and Fishing the Classic Baitfish Imitations, which offers 22 freshwater and 6 saltwater versions of the original.)
In the instructional video below, our Canadian pal Phil Rowley ties his favorite version of the Thunder Creek, which uses marabou instead of the original bucktail. (See Phil’s previous blog and podcast contributions, here, and here.) Like all good tying videos, this one offers a few tricks for controlling the marabou, keeping everything in place, and making red gills on a baitfish pattern.
Marabou Thunder Creek
Hook: 4X-long streamer hook (here a Daiichi 1750), sizes 6-10.
Thread: White, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Body: Pearlescent or silver tinsel (here Opal Mirage Tinsel).
Adhesive 1: Loon UV Fly Finish.
Underwing: Pearl Krystal Flash.
Wing: Olive barred marabou (here, Jailhouse Marabou).
Belly: White marabou.
Gills: Red permanent marker on tying thread.
Adhesive 2: Loon UV Fly Finish.
Eyes: 3D Stick-on eyes.
Head: Loon UV Fly Finish.