Steve Huff Flies

huff_flies

Some of Steve’s favorite patterns, in a shot of one of his fly boxes.

I’ve been fortunate to spend many days fishing with and around Steve Huff, whom I consider to be an iconic fishing guide.  (“Iconic” is used overmuch these days, but if there’s a soul dedicated to his craft like Steve is to guiding, I haven’t met them yet.)  Steve has strong opinions about leader systems, boats, and strategies.  But the one I’ve always found intriguing is his preferred style of flies, especially in this day of perfect imitation and miniaturization.

In brief, Steve’s flies tend to be biggish and fluffy.  They almost look archaic.  And they are far from “perfect” in what we think of as perfection from a expert tier’s perspective.  No fancy techniques or innovative materials and paints, just good old-fashioned feather and hair, fiber and fluff assembly.  From Steve’s patterns–beginning with his modifications on the early Merkin–I learned most of my opinions about what makes a fly sexy to a fish: that it behaves like prey, and that what a fly looks like out of the water doesn’t matter, as long as in the water the fly creates the right profile and motion.

  • Ken Biro

    I didn’t see his fav: the big black one on big hook.