The Convertible is another top-notch creation from the vise of Scott Sanchez. The pattern gained fame in the Jackson Hole One Fly Contest when Bob Slamal fished it to perfection, producing one of the highest one-day point totals ever recorded. By choosing the Convertible, he was able to match various insects and stages of hatches while many other anglers were limited to matching a specific insect or stage of a hatch. That kind of flexibility can assist you while matching summer and fall hatches this year. So, when you need multiple options and don’t want to pack a suitcase full of flies to the water with you, think Convertible and you should be ok.
The Convertible is constructed with specific materials that can be trimmed away when desired, to form completely different imitations—it can, literally, be fished throughout an entire day and modified as hatches change. In my opinion, it is one of the most inventive designs to ever come from a vise.
The Convertible starts out as a large attractor in the tradition of Guy Turck’s Tarantula or a foam-wing Chernobyl Ant. In this form it can imitate early morning stoneflies, such as Claassenia, and be used to prospect for opportunistic trout feeding early in the day. Later in the morning, the legs and foam wing can be trimmed away to produce a smaller Trude. This version of the Convertible resembles a grasshopper or can just be fished as a low-profile stonefly. When mayflies begin to emerge later in the day, the Trude wing can be trimmed away to form a Wulff. If surface action slows in the afternoon, the Wulff wing can be trimmed away, along with the hackle, to create a general attractor nymph. Split shot or a degreasing agent can be applied to the leader to sink the nymph version of the Convertible.
While spring, summer, and autumn are the obvious times to fish the Convertible, there can be decent action in winter as well. A #14 to #16 version can be used to imitate the tiny black winter stones that populate many trout streams, and then trimmed down to the Wulff pattern to match blue-winged olives. If surface action comes to an end in late afternoon, the nymph version can be used to fish riffles, seams, and bankside troughs.
It’s already June so the time for tying is now. Whip up a couple dozen Convertibles and see how they perform for you. When hatches change rapidly, and other anglers search for a correct match in their boxes, you’ll be happy to have this versatile pattern at your disposal.