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Signal Light – Time Machine Fly Box

November 22nd, 2013 · No Comments


Continuing on with Steelhead fly tying with flies inspired by John P. Newbury’s Time Machine Fly Box, I bring on the Signal Light.

The Signal Light is one of a group of flies that were named after features of or around the Deschutes River and tied by Randall Kaufmann. It is also one of the few in the series that would “normally” have a marabou wing. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a hairwing Signal Light though. Like all of these flies, they are open to interpretation and some meddling. The important points of the Signal Light is that have a body made of 1/4 Red, 1/4 Green and 1/4 Black, from butt to collar. You can use dubbing, floss, chenille, yarn or whatever else you have to come up with the colors. Here are a few of the Signal Lights that I put together.

signal light - summer
This Signal Light has a red and chartreuse butt section, followed by a body of black UV Ice Dub. The collar is purple schlappen and black deer hair wing. I’d consider this one a bit more for summer-time as it should ride very shallow in the water.

signal light - winter
To contrast, this Signal Light would be more for winter use. The butt section is orange UV Ice Dub and a green chenille. Again the body is black UV Ice dub. This thicker body hides a few wraps of .020 lead-free wire for a little bit extra weight. The collar is purple schlappen and the wing of deer hair over a few strands of copper Krystal Flash. If I were to do this again, I’d make it with a marabou wing instead.

intruder signal light
To really mix things up, here’s an Intruder style fly, inspired by the Signal Light. There are a lot of materials in these, but from front to back: orange UV Ice Dub, red Saddle Hackle, chartreuse Saddle Hackle, black UV Ice Dub, orange UV Ice Dub, red Saddle Hackle, chartreuse Saddle Hackle, black Marabou, purple Marabou, purple Holoflash. The hook point will be removed and a trailer hook slipped on the loop of Tufline in the rear.

Very often there will be a tail coming off the flies, and I would have used purple hackle fibers or even purple Fluoro Fiber. Why I didn’t manage to tie any up with tails, I’m not sure. When I buy more hooks and tie up more, I’ll make sure to include tails.

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