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The SC Needle

By Daniel Krenz

The SC Needle, by Daniel Krenz

The SC Needle is a versatile fly pattern that can be used in both saltwater and freshwater for a variety of species. On the beach, it imitates needlefish that are preyed on by migratory salmon, trout and resident flatfish. In streams, the SC Needle can be swung across a run as a streamer to trigger strikes from salmon, trout and char.


Hook: Streamer hook desired length, my two favourites are Tiemco 200R in size 10 and Tiemco TMC in size 4
Thread: Olive thread (Red Thread for throat, optional)
Body: Silver holographic tinsel
Wing: Green polar flash, gold flashabou accent, red krinkle flash
Eyes Holographic 3D eyes
Head: Multiple coats of head cement, hard as nails, or epoxy

Tying Steps

  • Create the thread base on the hook.
  • Tie in tinsel at rear of the hook, wrap forward to head and tie off. You can add wire wrap for durability.
  • Size 10 fly – Cut equal amounts of each wing material around 1 inch long, mix them in a hair stacker.
  • Tie in half of mixed materials on bottom of the hook and half of mixed material on top of the hook.
  • Once the wing material is secured, build up head to desirable size.
  • Stick holographic eyes on head, and coat entire head with one coat of head material.
  • Once head has dried, apply one or two more coats of hard as nails or head cement – epoxy will only need one coat.
  • Once head has dried, take fly out of vice or board and trim the wing materials, you want to achieve a tapered look.

Tying Notes

  • Make sure to not overdress the fly. Very sparse flies with only 10 or so strands of each material often work best, especially in smaller sizes (size 10).
  • This fly also works well with trailer hooks, especially in the larger 3+ inch saltwater version.
  • Variation can also be made in blue, just substitute blue krinkle flash for red, silver flashabou for green and silver flashabou accent for the gold.


  • Chinook salmon – Size 10 in rivers, large size off beaches/behind flashers. Blue version works best.
  • Coho salmon – Size 10 in rivers and beaches. Green and blue version both work well
  • Chum salmon – Size 10 in rivers. Green version works best.
  • Pink salmon – Size 10 off beaches. Doesn't work well in rivers. Green version works the best.
  • Coastal cutthroat trout – Size 10 in sloughs, rivers, beaches, anywhere. Both blue and green versions work.
  • Dolly varden – Size 10 off beaches and in rivers. Blue version works best.
  • Rainbow trout – Size 10 in rivers, lakes. Green version works best.
  • Flounder and sole – large size works very well off the beach for flounder. Green version is best.

Fishing Notes

  • This fly is best fished on a very fast 2-3 inch strip.
  • It can fish well on the swing in fast water with predatory fish such as coastal cutthroat trout, dolly varden, etc.
  • Try to "match the hatch" with colour if you are fishing off the beach.