Dennis Collier Fly Illustration - Copyright Dennis Collier 2015Fly Patterns

DC's "T.B.T.F" (Too Big To Fail) Streamer Pattern Recipe and Tying Sequence

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By Dennis P. Collier

DC’s T.B.T.F. Streamer Pattern Recipe:

Trailing Hook: Size 2, 4 – "Owner" Cutting Point SSW or Gamakatsu Octopus
Primary hook: Size 6, TMC 777SP – or heavy duty streamer hook of choice
Trailing hook connection: 30# Power Pro braided monofilament
Tails: Dark olive over light olive arctic fox and Finnish Raccoon underfur
Body: Olive holographic Ice Dub
Rib: Size "small" UTC gold wire
Body Veil: Olive marabou plume
Legs: Yellow Speckled Sexi-Legs (Montana Fly Company)
Flash: Olive Krystal Flash; Olive Copper UV Polar Chenille
Collar: Olive Zonker rabbit fur
  • Step 1:

    Remove the course guard hairs which inhibit the action from a clump of arctic fox or Finnish Raccoon fur and tie in the soft underfur, dark over light, on the trailing hook. Leave enough room behind the eye to accommodate the connecting monofilament braid. Coat the thread wraps with "Tack Free" Clear Cure Goo.


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  • Step 2:

    Wrap approximately twelve or fifteen wraps of .015 lead wire behind the eye of the primary hook and secure with thread. Make a single loop of 30# braided mono through the eye of the trailing hook and begin tying in the mono material at the rear of the primary hook. You can also simply tie in the mono loop and add the trailing hook at a later time if you choose. Wrap forward in very tight wraps to just ahead of the lead wire, then back to the tie in point. Apply some super glue to the thread wraps and allow it to soak into the materials to secure the connection.

  • Step 3:

    Remove the course guard hairs from a clump of arctic fox or Finnish Raccoon fur and tie in, dark over light, at the rear of the primary hook Make sure the fur is long enough to overlap the tailing material by approximately 50%.

  • Step 4:

    Tie in a length of UTC wire for a rib, then apply body material of choice, roughly one-half shank length. Counter-wrap the rib over the body material for reinforcement.


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  • Step 5:

    Tie in a large, webby marabou plume by the tip, just ahead of the body material.


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  • Step 6:

    Stroke the fibers of the marabou plume to the rear as you wrap it in hackle collar fashion. Use a "Collier’s Brass Dubbing Brush" to gently stroke the marabou back over the body to create a veil. Make a few wraps of thread back over the marabou plume baseto bind it all down, leaving ample room on the hook shank for subsequent steps.

  • Step 7:

    Fold a length of Sexi-Legs in half and tie in on each side of the hook, just ahead of the marabou plume, to create a pair of legs per side.


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  • Step 8:

    Tie in a few strands of Krystal Flash on top of the body and trim to full body length. Tie in and make a couple of wraps of UV Polar Chenille. Wrap back over the Polar Chenille to secure and leave room for the rabbit fur collar.

  • Step 9:

    Clip a length of rabbit fur from a Zonker strip and place in a dubbing loop. Spin the dubbing loop to make a nice fluffy dubbing brush. Wrap the dubbing brush in close, adjoining wraps to a point just behind the hook eye and secure. Create a nice head, whip finish and cement.


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  • Step 10:

    This image demonstrates how I would recommend adding additional weight to the fly. First, add a brass or tungsten bead or two to the tippet, looping the leader material once through the bead to keep it from sliding up or down on the leader. Create an open loop knot, such as the Non-slip Mono Knot, and secure the fly. Then open the loop around the bead(s) and work the bead(s) back down to the knot position. Opening up the loop and working the bead down without tension on the leader will prevent it from "pig-tailing" the material.

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