The JT Special Streamer (Re-Visited)

TL;DR: A good streamer for the Swift and Westfield rivers.

When I was new to fly tying, I made a white marabou streamer for situations when I wanted to see the take. It miraculously worked (N.B.: many, many of my flies have been duds!), and I wrote a post about it.

The JT Special has a permanent place in my main fly box because it often delivers. So, I’m writing about it a second time.

Sometimes, you’re fishing slower and shallow water at the Westfield or Swift. You want to see the take before the fish spits out the fly. I had read that white is the easiest color to see for humans, and so, I decided to make a white streamer.

At tailwaters in the winter, you want something substantial to encourage the languid trout to move. This streamer has done well in winter when drifted slowly and deep.

The fluttering white marabou and red thread collar just seem to work. And, I’m a big believer in peacock herl, and that makes up the body of the streamer. So, a few strike triggers here: movement, color contrast and subtle flash from the herl.

I suspect that trailing a smaller fly behind this streamer would make for a good tandem.

It is a simple tie. Materials list:

  • Hook: Orvis 1526 (a 3x long shank), size 10, 12 or 14
  • Bead: Brass, gold
  • Body: four peacock herl strands, roped together with tippet for durability
  • Wing: marabou, white
  • Thread collar: UTC, 70 denier, red; sealed with Loon UV Finish Flow

Edit, 8 am:
Coincidentally, the Orvis blog just put a post on “How to Select and Tie-In Marabou.” Link here, FYI.

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