Published Sep 11. 1999 - 24 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 29. 2016

Atrractor swap

Undoubtedly, when one thinks of attractor streamer and bucktail patterns, the venerable Mickey Finn comes to mind. More often than not, it's the very first pattern streamer aficionados are introduced to when learning to tie...and rightly so, as it remains a productive pattern in our streamer wallets.

Introduction And Swap Hosted By R.A. Skehan

Undoubtedly, when one thinks of attractor streamer and bucktail patterns, the venerable Mickey Finn comes to mind. More often than not, it's the very first pattern streamer aficionados are introduced to when learning to tie...and rightly so, as it remains a productive pattern in our streamer wallets. The Mickey Finn, and other colorful, flashy, attractor patterns aren't designed to imitate a bait fish as much as they are intended to trigger an aggressive response from the target fish. Many times, a strike can be triggered with attractor patterns when more realistic forage fish imitations fail.

Speaking of the Mickey Finn....I can fondly recall a number of occasions when this and other attractor patterns have saved the day for me. On a frosty April morning a couple of years ago, I was fishing the open water caused by the inlet of a small stream on a central Maine lake. The stream was nearly all open, other than a small amount of "shelf-ice', and the moving currents had made a crescent-shaped area of open water on the otherwise frozen solid lake. I positioned myself at the head of this inlet to work a streamer through this area, and did so with little success. My luck changed when I decided to tie on a small casting-sized Mickey Finn. On one occasion, I was working the water close the Mickey on a short swing, when a large landlocked salmon rose from the dark waters and slashed at my offering. The fish was clearly visible through the entire take. No need to set the hook, as the strike was so vicious the deed was done automatically. It's takes like these under the conditions described above, that give attractors a warm place in my mind, and a dedicated spot in my wallet.

Select any of the links below to see the patterns submitted for the swap.

Quebec Sapphire

Bob Petti
Slightly Modified, Originated By Mike Martinek, Jr.


Hook Mustad 3665A, #6
Thread Black Danville 6/0
Tail Red Hackle Barbs
Rib Silver Mylar Tinsel
Body White Aunt Lydia's Sparkle Yarn
Wing Small bunch of pale pink bucktail over which is a bunch of pintail flank tied flat
Hackle Guinea Fowl and Silver Doctor Blue hackle, folded and tied back.
Head Black w/ painted eyes

My fly is modified from Mr. Martinek's original only in the use of some substitute materials. I left for home for the holidays with what I thought was a complete list of materials, but I discovered upon opening my tying box that I had forgotten embossed tinsel. Also, not being a huge fan of chenille bodies, I opted for a sparkle fuzzy yarn instead. The only pale pink suitable hair I had was bucktail, and I selected pintail in place of the teal, as I have a far greater selection of appropriate flank feathers. The hackle color calls for "silver doctor blue" in the original, but the photo in Mike's book "Streamer Fly Patterns for Trolling and Casting, Volume II" shows a definite Kingfisher Blue hackle. This is picking nits obviously, hardly worth mentioning. Even with such a nontrivial number of substitutions, the fly sent in for the swap seems to be a fair representation of the original.

The original pattern as shown in Mike's book is:
Hook: Casting Streamer, Sizes 4-8
Tail: Red Hackle Fibers
Body: White Chenille
Rib: Embossed Silver Tinsel
Wing: Small bunch of pale pink polar bear or calftail, over
this is a teal flank tied flat in a bunch
Hackle: Guinea Fowl and Silver Doctor Blue hackle, folded
and tied back.
Head: Black, red throat, white eyeball, black pupil

Marabou Royal Coachman

Bruce Whittle


Hook Tiemco 300
Thread black 6/0
Tail Golden pheasant tippet
Body Peacock herl then red floss then peacock herl
Collar grizzly hackle fibers dyed dark brown
Wing White marabou with a few strands of pearl Krystal flash

Doug's Lightning Bug

Doug Britton


Tail Golden pheasant crest
Body Flat gold tinsel
Rib Fine gold wire
Hackle Orange
Wing Jungle cock breast, tied flat.
Head Orange

Green Weenie

Bob Skehan


Hook Mustad 9575
Thread black
Tail red yarn
Body lime green day glow wool wil silver tinsel winding.
Wing white marabou
Throat red feather barbules
Head black with white eyes and red pupils
Comment This pattern was shared with me by Maine Guide, David Prince.

Lucas Grizzly Streamer

Clark Lucas


Hook Tiemco 300, size 6
Thread Red
Tail Sword (herl)
Body Medium flat silver tinsel
Throat White polar bear
Wing 2 regular grizzly hackles "sandwiching" 1-2 yellow grizzly hackles.
Collar Green-winged teal flank
Cheeks Jungle Cock
Head Loon Hard head (black) leaving small area unlaquered for gill.
Topping Sword (herl)
Comment A good fly for rainbow trout in our area (Idaho).

Mating Dance

Ron McKusick


Tail 2 jungle cock body feathers dyed lavendar
Body Red holographic Christmas ribbon that has been stripped in half.
Throat Sparse bucktail, pink then chartreuse
Underwing Pink ostrich then purplse flashabou, then chartreuse bucktail
Wing White marabou plume, then yellow and hot red sparse bucktail
Cheeks A pair of peacock neck plumes
Head Red paint

Brookie Parr

Kelvin Hartley


Flaming Tongue

Chris DelPlato


Hook 6xl streamer hook
Head Black
Throat 10-15 Peacock sword fibers
Body Kreinik Metallic Ribbon, Vatican Gold Hi-Lustre (color# 102HL)
Wing Marabou, equal parts - red on top, orange on bottom
Tail 10-15 Peacock sword fibers

The motivation for this fly began after finding a spool of Kreinik metallic ribbon with the intriguing color name "Vatican Gold". Since this body material already had some religious overtone, my thought was to link this with some other kind of religious symbolism. I had remembered something being written about 'tongues of fire' descending upon the disciples, and that mental imagery seemed bold enough for a truly 'hot' attractor pattern. A combination red/orange wing would be fiery enough. The Vatican Gold ribbon gave it some flash, and peacock sword for contrast and just because I like it (though, one could further symbolize that the green represents a few dollars for the collection plate on Sunday).

Christmas Bugger

Wayne McMahon


Hook Tiemco 300
Thread 6/0 red uni-thread
Tail olive marabou
Body red poly yarn
Hackle bron/olive saddle (2)
Head gold bead, large

Mickey Finn Bugger

Aaron Hirschhorn


Hook Streamer of choice, 4 or 6XL, size 8 - 12
Thread Black 6/0
Tail Yellow Marabou topped by Red Marabou
Body Yellow Chenille or Vernille
BACK Red Chenille or Vernille
Hackle Yellow Saddle
EYES Black inside Yellow (optional)

Montreal Whore

Glenn Seibert


Hook size 2 - 10 streamer hook 3-4x long
Thread Black
Body Hunter Orange
Rib Silver Mylar
Wing 10-15 strands of each / red, white, & blue bucktail mixed, over which a full white marabou feather. Make sure the wing isn't longer than 1/4 inch beyond the hook or it will foul when cast.
CommentS This is believed to have been originated by the late Lenny Loiselle, but it has definitely been popularized in the Greenville, Maine area by Dan Legere of the Maine Guide Fly Shop. Dan stated to me that he fishes a 3x or 4x length in the early season and an 8x in the fall.

Golden Bear

Robb Nicewonger


Hook TMC 300 #6
Thread Black
Tail GP tippet
Body Embossed gold tinsel (the original called for flat gold with oval rib)
Wing Yellow over orange over yellow calftail
Throat Sparse teal flank, beard style (original called for mallard)

Alexandra Streamer

Jimmie Toney


Head Black
Tail A fairly long but rather narrow section of a red goose or swan wing feather
Body Medium embossed silver tinsel
RibBING Narrow oval silver tinsel
Throat A wide black saddle hackle wound on as a collar and separated at the top to accomodate the wing
Wing A fairly large bunch of bright green peacock herl. The herl should be so selected as to be very green and very fine. The wing extends beyond the tail of the fly

Red and White Featherwing

John Lent


Thread black
Body silver braid wound around hook shank
Wing two red hackles flanked by two white hackles.

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