P.O. Box 1181, Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1181

Dubuque Fly Fishers



Tyer: Dave Felland

Type: Streamer (Saltwater)

Hook: Short Shank Mustad 9175 or Eagle Claw 254 Sea Guard or Tiemco 800S; sizes 2/0 to 2/0

Thread: Red Danvile flat waxed

Tail: Yellow Bucktail; silver Flashabou, 25 to 30 strands; multi-color Krystal Flash, 15 to 20 strands each side; most have orange grizzly hackle flanks

Hackle: Three saddle hackles (large), two yellow and one orange

Body: .030 lead wire (2 amp), 8 to 10 turns; chenille, medium fourescent red, 2 turns only

Eyes: Silver bead chain, large

Originator: Dan Blanton

Source: Deke Meyer, Tying Saltwater Flies


1. Attach thread at rear of shank, wrap forward. Tie in bead chain eyes behind hook eye. Wrap 8 to 10 turns of lead wire behind eyes, wrap thread over wire. Make sure eyes are level, spread one drop Zap-a-gap super glue over tie-down with toothpick.

2. Bring thrad to rear of hook. Tie in one bunch of bucktail, tapering stubs. Tie down securely. Tie in 25 to 30 strands Flahsabou on top of bucktail (not on side) extending 1-1/2 inches beyond bucktail, trim excess. (Moisten Flashabou to handle easier).

3. Add one or two more bunches of bucktail, tie down securely. Tie in 15 to 20 strands Krystal Flash along each side of bucktail, same length as bucktail. Tie in grizzly hackle as flank, not as long as tail.

4. Tie in chenille, make two wraps, tie off and trim excess. Ti in two yellow hackles, to the front (width about 1-1/2 hook gap).

5. Wrap hackles, tie off and trim. Tie in thrid hackle, same as step 4. Wrap last hackle and finish head.

Notes: This is one rendition of Dan Blanton's Whisler developed in 1964 for saltwater fishing. The fly receives its name from the whistle it makes as it is moved through the air during the cast. The sound is attributed to the holes in the large bead eyes. According to Dan; as told by Deke Meyer, the author of Tying Saltwater Flies; the Whistler was created to compete with the lead-head bucktail jig. When the fly is worked properly it will dip, dive and move like a wounded bait fish. The Whistler is a weighted fly with lead wrapped around the hook shank and large bead eyes plus a heavy short shank stainless steel hook. The fly is tied in many color variations and it shows success in catching pike, musky, river running salmon, bass, trout, bone fish, tarpon, stripers, and others. The variations are tremendous and the materials used are just as diverse.