Fly Tying the Golden Demon Classic Steelhead

The Golden Demon is one of the classic PNW steelhead flies and was brought to North America by adventurer/author/angler Zane Grey. Zane brought the pattern back from New Zealand in the 1930’s and adapted the fly for the PNW, quickly putting it to the test on the Rouge River and the Umpqua River. The fly proved successful and several variations emerged and the Copper Demon, Silver Demon, and Black Demon soon followed.

This version of the fly is simplified, but you can add a rib and tag to the fly to class it up. An underbody of floss can be added to the fly in order to thicken the body. A single strand of a 4-strand floss should be enough. For extra durability, add a coat of varnish or cement over the body before tying on the collar and wing.

The fly was originally tied using the brown hair from a bucktail, but many of the eastern mail order catalogs tied the fly using the red squirrel hair. The squirrel soon became the standard. the fly is also tied using bear hair or bronze mallard wings.

Golden Demon Fly Pattern Recipe

Hook: Superfly Salmon/Steelhead HW #2
Thread: Black 6/0 (140 d)
Tail: Golden pheasant crest
Body: Gold tinsel (flat, oval, or embossed)
Collar: Orange hackle
Wing: Red squirrel tail or brown bucktail
Eyes: Jungle cock nails (optional)


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Camera: Nikon CoolPix P510
Vise: Griffen Montana Mongoose

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