This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Max Canyon steelhead fly. It was developed by Doug Stewart in the early 1970’s.

Our fly club has an outing in Max Canyon on the Deschutes River next week to fish for steelhead and I thought it timely to highlight this fly.

Max Canyon |

You may have seen it spelled differently…Macks Canyon, but it’s the same fly. In addition, there’s a different variation called the Dark Max Canyon. The “dark” fly replaces the tail with a gold tag and the white calf tail is tied with black calf tail instead.

The Max Canyon was inspired by the Skunk and Brad’s Brat (developed by Enos Bradner – perhaps a likely candidate for a future TBT Fly). Stewart took the black from the Skunk and orange from Brad’s Brat to create the fly.

This particular fly came from a box of steelhead and Atlantic Salmon flies given to me years ago by a good friend. The fly box belonged to her dad and one of the rivers he fished was the Deschutes. I’m honored to keep his dream alive.

The fly is a little over-dressed in my opinion. In fact, it might even float with such a dense wing. I’d tie a more sparse looking tail and wing.

Have you used this fly? Let me know.

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. As with Charlie (Hi Guy!!) a great fly but use a heck of a lot less materials. Another one that’s very productive is just all purple.

  2. This is a great fly John. I have used it on the Russian River in California, as well as the Gualala, Garcia and Navarro Rivers, all with good results. I also tied mine much sparser than the one pictured and I agree completely with your assessment.

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