The biggest steelhead in the lower 48 go home to spawn in Idaho’s Clearwater River, from whence this fly takes its name. Bjorn Ostby was the originator of this pattern, a great low-water fly with an active hackle, a little sparkle and peacock strut.

This is a fly for swinging on a floating line or a sink-tip under a bright sun. A 3- to 6-foot leader is adequate. Cast quartering downstream, toss an upstream mend and let it turn its arc. At the end of the drift, take two steps down and cast again.

Tie the Clearwater Crusher with bright orange thread on a No. 6 up-eye steelhead hook. For the tag, use fine green mylar. Tie in a tail of golden pheasant tippets. For the body, use peacock Ice Dub and rib with silver wire. On the back, lay down a sparse mallard wing. Craft the collar with webbed brown hackle and finish with a prominent head.

— Gary Lewis, for The Bulletin

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