Tying the Provo Hooker

~By: Lance Dean | March 4, 2015

Provo Hooker





am a fan of zonker strips on flies and the Provo Hooker utilizes this awesome tying material.  The first time I seen it I told myself that I need to tie that fly for not only Trout but for Northern Pike.

Provo Hooker
Olive Provo Hooker in Vise
After reading through Collin Carlson’s Provo Hooker tutorial (which can be found here) I tied up a few of these awesome flies.  The first few I tied looked like one big and one small fur ball on a hook (I call these first few attempts my Provo Monstrosities), but after some practice and a bit of patience my flies started looking more and more like the fly I seen on Collins site.

There were two hurdles that I ran into while figuring the Provo Hooker out.  The first was trying to get the Moose hair tail to flare like Collin did.  The second was getting the zonker strip hair to lie down on the head of the fly like I wanted it to.

Provo HookerThe first problem was easy to fix, I just used elk hair, but after a tying a few dozen of these I wanted to know why I could not get the Moose hair to flare and Collin supposedly could.  So a few days ago, I decided to take to Facebook and message him about my issue with his fly.  He messaged me back seconds after I instigated the conversation and told me that the moose hair wasn’t used for flare but to keep the zonker strip from fouling while fishing it.  I find it interesting when I find a fly I want to tie and see a material used in it and think that it is used for one thing only find out the purpose of the material was for something completely different.  Here I thought the moose hair was used for looks but was actually intended to tame the zonker strip.  He also told me to use a larger clump of moose hair to get the effect I was looking for.  I have not been able to try this because all I have at the moment is moose mane not body hair. So, for the time being I am using yearling elk hair and it still fishes fine.  For the sake of authenticity I intend to use moose hair when I am able to get some from the Fly Shop I shop at.
Chartreuse Provo Hooker
Fluorescent Chartreuse Provo Hooker in Vise

The second issue was resolved with practice.  Getting the hair on the head of the Provo Hooker to lay down in a way that made the Provo Hooker look classy chunk of meat it was meant to be was a patience thing.  Well, that and a bit of water.  In Collin’s tutorial he mentions to use saliva to arrange the rabbit hair the way you want it during each turn of zonker strip used to create the head of the fly, I just got a small cup of water and dipped my finger into it to control the zonker hair.

Chartreuse Provo Hooker
Fluorescent Chartreuse Provo Hooker
Now after tying the Provo Hooker a few dozen times the look of the fly has improved a lot.  It may not
compare to how the King of the Hookers (Collin Carlson) ties it but they look way better than those first few “Provo Monstrosities” that I tied while figuring the Provo Hooker out.

I finally had the chance to use the Provo Hooker this last summer and I have to say it didn’t disappoint.  The Provo Hooker caught not only trout, but it was equally productive for Smallies and Bluegill as well.  In the few hours I was able to get out on that particular summer evening I caught a couple of each, which I thought was pretty good considering it was a lake that I was unfamiliar with.

If this is not a fly that you want to tie and just prefer to buy them you are going to have to find someone to tie it for you or have Collin Carlson tie you up a few by contacting him through his website at finpusher.com or his Facebook page.

Provo Hooker
HOOK: Gamakatsu B10S
EYES: 1/4" Barbell Eyes "IBalz"
THREAD: UTC 210 - Olive
TAIL: Yearling Elk Hair - supposed to be moose
BODY: Zonker Strip - Olive & White
Marabou - Olive, Black, Sand
Goat Head Psycho Chenille
UV Ice Dub - Cinnamon
Schlappen - Orange Grizzly
HEAD: Zonker Strip - Olive

VIDEO TUTORIAL:



NOTE: I understand that this is a long tutorial and I debated on cutting some out or speeding it up, but I wanted this to be a complete tutorial so... it is what it is.

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