It’s cold. It’s rainy… It must be time for winter steelhead!
Every steelheader is always looking for “The Fly”, the “Go-To” fly that immediately boosts his or her confidence… the fly that convinces you that the odds of hooking a fish have turned in your favor. When checking in with the guys at The Royal Treatment about a winter steelhead fly suggestion for our next Fly Tying Night, they pointed me in the direction of the Crandall’s Provider, a fly they described as being Rob Crandall’s most productive fly.
As you probably know, Rob of Water Time Outfitters, is a well-respected local guide that grew up on the banks of the Clackamas River. So, when I went to the fly bins to get a closer look at a Crandall’s Provider, alas, the bin was empty. That alone tells you something. The Royal Treatment staff say they have a hard time keeping this fly in stock.
(Personally, I know that when Rob speaks about steelhead, I listen. As do lots of other people. This past Saturday the Royal Treatment hosted another, always popular, Rob Crandall Winter Steelhead Seminar. And, as always, it was standing room only.)
A few years back Nick Wheeler was on a trip with Rob on the Oregon coast. At the time Rob was working on the design for his Provider. He handed Nick his prototype and cautioned him that he only had that one fly and he better not lose it! Well, things turned out well that day. Rob figured he had a winning pattern as Nick proceeded to land three steelhead!
A fine steelhead landed by Nick Wheeler on a Crandall’s Provider
The Crandall Provider seems to have everything that appeals to discerning steelhead. The black and blue colors have long been a combination favored by steelheaders. The ostrich herl provides a lot of movement and the red guinea collar adds a hint of bloody gills in the pattern. Add some flash materials and you have a steelhead fly that will be effective at any time of year.
A quote about the Crandall’s Provider from The Royal Treatment Newsletter, 11/30/19: “This is quite possibly the most popular and proven steelhead fly we stock.”
Our next Fly Tying Night will be your chance to tie up your own Crandall’s Provider. We’ll be meeting at 6pm on Wednesday, January 22nd at The Royal Treatment Fly Shop in West Linn. (Note: This date comes one day after our general membership meeting. This is a change from our usual Fly Tying Night schedule in order to accommodate a logjam of activities involving the Royal Treatment facility and staff.) Hope you can join us!