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Fly Tying

The Home Invader

by Doug Mcknight   |  January 30th, 2016 12
Home Invader

Photo Doug McKnight

Big fish eat streamers for mostly two reasons: hunger or territoriality, and many times both.

In the past, I’ve read about how territorial trout behaved toward smaller members of their own species, but never gave it too much thought until I saw it happen. On a spring creek full of well-educated fish, I watched a large rainbow stop sipping tiny drys, and turn on a dime to chase a 6-inch trout the distance of the pool. The speed and savagery of this display—the predator nearly beached itself in the process—was mind-blowing, and helped reshape my whole thought process for fooling big fish.

I developed the Home Invader about 15 years ago for fishing smallmouth on the Delaware River, and for brown trout on a southeastern Pennsylvania spring creek. In Pennsylvania, you can’t use the words “streamer” and “smallmouth” without mentioning Bob Clouser and his Deep Minnow, which is perhaps the best and most versatile streamer for salt or fresh water ever invented.
During the Home Invader’s incubation phase, I began experimenting with different materials, dumbbell eyes, and the inverted Clouser design. I later combined marabou and fox fur with a few other ingredients to form a realistic baitfish or small-trout imitation in size, shape, and action.

At first glance, a fluffy, full-bodied Home Invader hardly resembles a streamlined baitfish silhouette. Add water, however, and it forms a perfect baitfish shape, with a finely tapered rear half and a soft, chubby front.

The Home Invader comes alive in the water, and fish react accordingly. Marabou, fox tail, flash, and rooster hackles heighten this effect, and you can fish this fly with an aggressive strip, a dead-drift, and everything in between. As soon as the Home Invader hits the water, it’s moving, even if you’re not imparting any additional action on the fly.

While the Home Invader is a proven trout and smallmouth producer, it also works on other species willing to eat smaller fish, such as musky, pike, striped bass, and bluefish.

Continued after gallery…

 

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