Weird Flies That Work: Super-X
This post is just a little nugget because the next three are going to be some heavy hitters. We will be looking at how to time ice-off for alpine lakes in spring (including maps and predictions), and dive into some larger trends to help understand the dynamics of the spring thaw. Make sure to tune back in during April and May.
In the meantime, here is a fly pattern and recipe for the Super-X.
Developed for the South Fork of the Snake River below Palisades Reservoir in Southeastern Idaho, the Super-X kind of has a cult following. The fly will still show up on local fishing reports and has been around since the mid-1980s. It's so important it even showed up in Boots Allen's book Snake River Flies. Originally developed by Wes Newman, the Super-X was created as a streamer to be fished on sinking lines with no weight applied to the hook (though I think the bead is a nice addition), or on a floating line suspended over shallower riffles. Apparently the design was the spinoff of another Snake River oddity, the Super Renegade (fished as a streamer).
Jimmy's Fly Shop in Southern Idaho continue to recommend Super-Xs for swinging close to overhangs, and undercut banks before retrieving them. The fly sort of feels like a nuclear egg mashup with a girdle bug, but it's fished as a streamer! The pattern does include some solid trigger points (see our article), including exaggerated rubber legs, contrasting colors (pink/orange on black) and a non-descript yet-alluring profile, likely contributing to it's lingering success.
Unfortunately, even though it's highlighted in Snake River Flies and locally stocked some fly bins, I haven't been able to dig up much information about this fly, adding to the mystique.
I don't know what it is about this fly, but it immediately caught my eye. Odd yet familiar. Though far from the Snake River drainage, early testing confirmed that the pink version works just fine. Its fun to throw curveballs to fish, especially when you know they are seeing the same old patterns over and over again.
Thread: Black 70 Denier (optional bead)
Hook: 4-6 Streamer Hook
Soft Hackle: Hen Saddle Hackle-Dun
Rubber Legs: White
Body: Pink/Orange Chenille (Thorax) Black Chenille (Abdomen)
Tail: White/Grey Antron
Applications: Trout Spey, Streamer Fishing, Nymphing
Snake River Flies: Eighty Years of Proven Patterns for Fly Fishing Around the Globe. 2014. Boots Allen. WestWinds Press.
Today at Jimmy's 7-29-09. Jimmy's Fly Shop. https://jimmysflyshop.com/today-at-jimmys-7-29-09/