charlie's flybox

Zoo Cougar


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step: 1
Pattern Description
The illustrious Kelly Galloup came up with this cool streamer called the Zoo Cougar. Kelly has some very interesting ideas about streamer designs and fishing and has written a book on the subject called Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout. This is a great book and brings up some thought provoking ideas about how and why fish chase these things down. The Zoo Cougar is really a pretty simple pattern and a good one to help start you on the road to spinning hair. Grab some big hooks, some deer hair, mallard flank, marabou, calftail and sparkle braid and get started!
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 300 #2 -#8>>>>> Thread: Tan 3/0 Monocord>>>>> Tail: Yellow Marabou>>>>> Body: Pearl Sparkle Braid>>>>> Underwing: White Calf Tail >>>>> Overwing: 2 Matched Mallard Flank Feathers Dyed Wood Duck Gold>>>>>> Head: Dyed Yellow or Light Olive Deer Hair
step: 2
Start the thread about a fourth of a shank length behind the hook eye and wrap a thread base back to the bend. Return the thread to the starting point and back again to the bend creating a crrosshatched thread base that will give some texture to the hook shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Clump up the tip of a nice full marabou feather and measure it so it is about a half shank long. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Tie the marabou in at the bend with the tips extending a half shank beyond the hook bend. Use several tight wraps to anchor the feather with a band of thread at the bend. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Lift the butt end of the marabou feather and bring the thread up the shank to the starting point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Lay the butt ends of the marabou down on the shank again and tie them in place with several firm wraps of thread. Be sure that you have some room left in front of this point to tie in the wing assembly and deer hair head to come. Clip the butt ends of the marabou flush. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Wrap the thread back over the marabou in tightly spaced spiral wraps to the bend and forward again to the starting point. Make sure the feather is secured to the top of the hook shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Tie in a piece of pearl Sparkle Braid at the front of the marabou base and wrap back over to the bend with the thread. Return the thread to the front. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Wrap the Sparkle Braid forward in tight wraps and tie it off at the starting point. Clip the excess. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Cut and clean a clump of long calf tail hair. Measure this clump so it reaches from the tie in point at the front of the body back to about mid-way up the tail. Tie the calf in on the top of the front edge of the body with several very tight turns of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Clip the butt ends of the calf hair off as squarely as you can. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Select two large, matched mallard flank feathers and stack them one on top of the other so they are both curving down. Even their tips so they become a single unit and peel the excess fluff from their bases. These feathers need to reach from the tie in to the mid-point on the tail as well. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Lay these two feathers on top of the calf hair underwing with their tips exxtending to the mid-point on the tail. Tie them down at the front with several tight turns of thread taking care to keep them cupped around the hook shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Top view of tie down. The feathers should lie flat over the top of the fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Side View. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Anchor the wing in place, clip the butt ends and whip finish the thread. Clip the thread and add a drop of head cement to the tie down area to help lock everything in place. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Start the white GSP 100 thread for the hair spinning on the front of the hook and wrap back to just in front of the wing base. This photo shows the wing position from the front as well. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Cut a giant clump of hair from the hide. Clean the underfur from the clump and put it in a large sized hair stacker to even the tips. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 19
Take the stacked clump of hair and lay it on top of the hook with the tips of the hair extending to about a third of the way up the wing. The thread should be right in front of the wing butts. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 20
Lay three soft turns of thread over the hair, one on top of the other. I like to cinch the hair just a bit on the first turn to create an angle to set the next two wraps in place. Hold onto the butt ends of the hair, keeping them on top of the hook as you do this. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 21
Pull firmly and steadily down and slightly back on the thread to spin the hair around the hook. I use my material hand to tighten the thread and brace the hook eye with the index finger of my thread hand here. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 22
Hold onto the hook behind the hair tips and wrap the thread tightly forward through the butt ends of the hair. These wraps will further distribute the butt ends around the shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 23
Draw the butt ends of the hair back a bit so you can work the thread right up the the front edge of the hair clump. You ought to have just a bit of room left behind the hook eye. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 24
Clean another large clump of hair and cut the tips off of it. Lay the center of this clump against the front of the last clump on the shank. Make three turns over this bunch as you did with the first bunch. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 25
Pull down and back on the thread to spin the second bunch of hair in front of the first. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 26
Work the thread forward through the hair to the hook eye as you did before. Hold the hair back out of the way and whip finish behind the hook eye. Clip the thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 27
Take the fly out of the vise and, using a double edged razor blade, trim the bottom of the hair head flat. Leave the tips of the first bunch of hair intact here as a collar. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 28
Turn the fly over and bend the blade into an arc. Push the blade from the hook eye to the base of the collar (tips) cutting a rounded head shape into the hair. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 29
Spend the next fifteen minutes cleaning up the shape of the head so it looks like this. I use a combination of the razor blade and scissors to finish up the job. I like to use the scissors to remove any of the butt ends from the collar tips, and the blade to round off the corners and edges. If you practice this a bunch you can cut the time down to about 14 and a half minutes. Take your time, there is no hurry. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 30
Top view of head shape. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 31
Side view, finished fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 32
Quarter top view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 33
Finished fly, bottom view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox