The Global FlyFisher
Simply the Best Place to go for Online Fly Fishing and Fly Tyinghttp://globalflyfisher.com/patterns/coxy-streamer
A simple hairwinged streamer in old school Danish coastal streamer style... with a twist... literally... of copper wire
When I started fishing there was a whole bunch of hair winged streamers that were touted as the best for coastal fishing. A couple of grand old men in Danish coastal fishing for sea trout – Per Karlsen and Kurt Malmbak-Kjeldsen - promoted hair winged creations as the best thing since sliced bread.
Personally I didn't tie or fish these flies. They simply didn't appeal to me. The patterns by Per Karlsen - popularly known as the PK-flies - were way too coarse and clumsy for me, fat bodies, large heads. His best known streamer PK Flash No. 9 had an overly bushy tail and wing. Malmbak-Kjeldsen on the other hand, promoted a series called the Salome flies originated by Freddy Weiss. They were so skinny and lightly dressed on thin salmon hooks that they didn't appeal to me at either. The differences between the individual flies in his series were so subtle that I found them to be essentially identical. All these flies were no doubt very effective and have caught lots of fish on the Danish coast.
I also found fishing hair winged flies unattractive in general. It bothered me that they would “hinge” meaning that the hook would have a tendency to hang at an awkward angle under the wing when the fly was in the water, giving an odd scissor-like behavior when the flies were retrieved in my normal jerky manner.
Add to that that my own first hair winged coastal flies were large and clumsy and not anything that I fished much. I used Arctic fox for the wings and tended to tie them too large and long and with no real sense for proportions. The flies would foul in the cast, become soggy and heavy. The soft hair would work nicely in the water, but allow my generally too long and heavy hooks to hang helplessly below the wing as the fly was retrieved. I preferred the classic hackled flies like the Magnus and Frede patterns, which were easy to tie, always looked great and fished like a charm with no odd behavior – and caught fish! So I stopped tying hair wing flies – at least for my coastal fishing.
As my tying got better I ventured into hair wings again, mainly on salmon flies, but eventually also for plain streamers for sea run browns. For several years I tied and fished a simple brown and orange squirrel winged streamer, which I liked a lot and which also caught me a few fish. The stiff squirrel hair made the fly act as I wanted and it cast and fished well with no hinging and no fouling.
Several of my fishing friends and I also took fancy to the Bloody Butcher – especially for our fishing trips to the eastern Danish island Bornholm where we had success with this classic in the clear but turbulent water that we like to fish over there. I preferred tying mine as simple hair wing streamers, and adopted a style with a fairly short and chubby wing.
The Coxy Streamer as I have dubbed it now, many years later, was a fly inspired by that style and a piece of silver fox that I bought. The color of the fox was a nice, warm, light tan with some barring and some dark tips, which lent itself perfectly to a copper accent in the form of a copper body and a few streaks of copper flash. The body was inspired by Klympen, a fly that also saw the light of day on Bornholm, and for a few years I fished the streamer shown here on several of my favorite Bornholm locations like the Airport, Arnager, Raghammer and Boderne.
The more subdued colors were perfect for the calm days where the water around the small rocky island could be crystal clear. The copper body is a killer on most flies, giving the fly weight to descend quickly, but not making it too heavy to cast.
The pattern is really simple to tie. No fancy materials or techniques and very few tying steps. The only slightly advanced thing that's incorporated is the LCR-covered body. The bare copper wire only has a limited lifespan in the harsh Baltic environment, and while I used to varnish the copper before tying on wing and false hackle, I now coat it in LCR and cure that to become a hard and very durable layer over the body. After the coating follows a bit of flash, a false hackle, a wing and the fly is done.
I have chosen to show the tying in fairly detailed steps, since the fly is a great beginner fly, and details might come in handy if you're not that skilled a tyer.