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Finishing Intruders – 9 Styles

Posted on August 06 2015

How to tie intruders
Stu’s pink intruder, ‘plain edition.’ Photos: Stuart Foxall,

Deneki pal and professional fly designer, Stuart Foxall, is back today with another great post for all of you who like tying flies for anadramous fish.. Not one, not two, but nine different ways to finish off your intruders!


Finishing Intruders – 9 Styles

Intruder style flies are a really fun fly to tie, mainly because the variations and styles you can tie are limitless. To try and give you a few ideas on how to find your own style, I’ve tied the same pattern nine different times, but finished each one differently. This should hopefully give you a few ideas that you can play with, depending on the materials available or what works best in your rivers.

  1. Just a plain finished intruder. No dumbbell eyes, no wings etc. I’ve actually got more intruders in my box without dumbbell eyes than with. That’s because most of the rivers that I fish I like to lead the fly right into the bank as I hook a lot of fish on the hang down. With dumbbell eyes I would catch up before I got to the bank.How to tie intruders
  2. Dumbbell Eyes. This has got dumbbell eyes, but nothing else to fancy it up. This still catches lots of fish.How to tie intruders
  3. Rabbit Head.What about if you’re a little untidy tying your dumbbell eyes on? No problem! Just spin some rabbit into a dubbing loop and wrap it around the head to produce a really great looking bug. You can even spin some flashy dubbing into the loop if you like.How to tie intruders
  4. Shrimpy. How about a shrimpy looking intruder? This is probably my favorite looking style. Just some ring neck pheasant rump feathers tied as a shell back.How to tie intruders
  5. Shell Back. How about a different colored shell back? And some jungle cock feathers tied as under eyes? This looks really buggy and is very effective.How to tie intruders
  6. Jungle Cock Wings. Do you get lots of jungle cock eye feathers that are just too big to use for your normal flies? Just tie them over the top of your intruder as wings. This is really effective looking, although I doubt the fish see them.. But let’s let the fish decide.How to tie intruders
  7. Grizzly Wings. If you’re fishing faster type currents, you may want some grizzly wings tied on top of the intruder. These add lots more flutter to your fly in the water current.How to tie intruders
  8. Wings and Eyes. How about a different colored grizzly wing and jungle cock feathers tied as eyes again? Once again, super effective.How to tie intruders
  9. Extra Fancy. Okay, I’ve gone over board here. Although there’s no dumbbell eyes, I’ve added some mirror flash and long pink peacock fibers as a crest. Then some dyed pink jungle cock side feathers complete with natural jungle cock eyes tied over those. Finally, to finish the head I’ve used mirage flashabou superglued on top of the whip finished head. I then coat the head with varnish 3 or 4 times to make it look really pearly.How to tie intruders

I hope that this gives you just a few more ideas on how to give your intruders more of your “own” style. But remember, there’s only one real judge on how good your flies are… And that’s the fish!

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