This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Silver Hilton Steelhead Fly.

Silver Hilton |

I found this Silver Hilton steelhead fly in my old fly box and thought I’d share it with you. Obviously, it’s been in there awhile, but I’m sure it would fish just fine.

John Shewey’s Classic Steelhead Flies (2015) is one of my sources to find out about a fly’s history. If you haven’t had a chance to peruse this book, go to your local fly shop and see if they have it in stock. Otherwise, go to the link above and order it. You won’t be sorry.

The fly was designed by Henry Hilton for the Klamath and Trinity rivers in California during the 1040’s. Hilton was a cook at a cookhouse in the town of Korbel located on the Mad River.

Shewey cites author George Burdick’s Klamath River Angling Guide as one of his sources of information about the Silver Hilton. In it, he states the original fly was tied with red hackle fibers for the tail. He goes on to quote Burdick:

There are two versions of how the fly was named. Local fly historians say it was because of the silver tinsel wrap, however, two of the octogenarians I interviewed said it was named for Mr. Hilton’s graying temples, which were quite striking…an original Silver Hilton tied by Henry Hilton (which I photographed) had no tinsel wrap.

To find out the whole story, be sure to read it in Classic Steelhead Flies.

(John Kreft is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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