This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Lee Wulff’s Hitch Specials.
Four flies make up Lee Wulff’s Hitch Specials – Silver Blue, Red Squirrel, Haggis, and Blue Squirrel.
These are very interesting flies, built with a molded, plastic body. A friend loaned the flies to me for my Throw Back Thursday Fly posts.
Lee Wulff’s Hitch Specials were designed for fishing a Riffling Hitch. Attach the fly first using the Turle Knot. The Riffling Hitch is just a half hitch tied directly behind the hook eye. The fly lies sideways in the surface film as it swings across the current, creating a visible wake. The wake is thought to attract fish in larger water.
This technique is often used while fishing for Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead.
In Lee Wulff’s Trout on a Fly (1986), he states he came up with the idea for plastic flies in 1950. He dropped solvent on some plastic to soften the material. Then he stuck part of a feather into the soft spot created and it hardened in place.
These flies are part of several Form-A-Lures Wulff hoped would be a new and better method of tying flies. Lee Wulff’s Surface Stone Fly is another fly that used a hard, plastic body.
Here are close-up images of the flies.
To learn more about Lee Wulff (1905 – 1991), be sure to pick up Mike Valla’s terrific book – The Founding Flies – 43 American Masters, Their Patterns and Influence listed on my Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page.