By now, most people who have spent any time pursuing steelhead have heard of the intruder. The large-profile fly is no longer a secret, but what many people don’t fully appreciate is the critical importance of material selection in tying it.
All materials are not created equal, and this is as true for ostrich plumes as it is for any other material. We searched for a long time for the perfect intruder plume and eventually found a feather called the “drab”. Don’t let the name fool you; there’s nothing drab about this feather. Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics selected the drab for their Signature Intruder Plumes because drabs are stout at the base and taper to fine tips, making them perfect for twin tails and wings.
The tips of the drabs are palmer-able and can be wrapped as a hackle to create a wide profile with a very slim base. The rest of the drab performs extremely well in a dubbing loop. Additionally, the length is perfect for intruders and other steelhead flies, meaning there is much less waste than with a traditional, oversized ostrich plume. OPST draws from only the finest ostrich drabs so you don’t have to deal with the annoyance of missing feather tips or matted feathers. The final step in creating a perfect intruder plume is in the dyeing. OPST’s drabs are dyed in all the most popular steelhead and streamer colors, enhanced with unique black barring that mimics the mottling pattern found in many species in nature. There’s just something fishy about a barred fly, and OPST has incorporated this into their Signature Intruder Plumes to inspire aggression in fish and confidence in you.