This is a member fly by @G_Smolt and we appreciate his sharing. Enjoy🍻

There are some universal truths in the world, and one of those is “Big fish eat little fish”. Originally designed with hungry springtime trout and char in mind, the Doppelgänger has been proof of that statement on a whole pile of big angry fish from Alaska trout to Florida snook and every piscivorous species in between. Stripped through a bait cluster, swung into an ambush bucket, or dead-drifted /slacklined to imitate a stunned baitfish – there isn’t a wrong way to fish this pattern. The big eye and semi-translucent appearance push all the right “FOOD!” buttons when the big fish are about, and the extended “body” wing has just enough resin in it to keep it from fouling. Originally tied in gray and olive to match pretty much every other inch-and-a-half-long fish in the water, the Doppelgänger can be adapted to match local forage fish color and size, and is a proven producer wherever big fish that eat little fish are found.

The Doppelgänger evolved over a few seasons spent yelling at huge trout surface-busting on salmon smolt and COMPLETELY ignoring pretty much every fly thrown at them. For the first few days of the season, anything you throw in the water is gonna get bit, but the big fish tend to wise up pretty quick. As a result, I started to tie my fry and smolt patterns less representative and a little more realistic, and that’s when the “wised-up” fish started paying more attention to them. The first iterations of the Doppelgänger had UV resin on the head only, and had a dubbed body that would look and fish great…for the first couple of fish. After a few toothy encounters, the body would be pretty ragged and lose its appeal. The UV resin over diamond braid was the last piece of the puzzle, and the resin adds *just enough* weight to keep the fly riding correctly in pretty much all conditions.

The “Original Recipe” (Olive) is as follows:

Hook: Umpqua U401 sz6

Thread: Danville 6/0, white

Body: Diamond Braid, pearl

Underwing: Krystalflash, pearl

Wing: FishScale, olive

Wing Topper: EP Fiber, black

Head: Ice Dub, UV pearl

Eyes: Living Eyes 4mm, earth

Resin: Loon UV flow

As with many things, fly patterns evolve – with the semi-recent explosion of available body fibers, I went through a pile of different materials looking for combinations that would cover a wide range of applications, and settled on EP “Sculpt a Fly” fibers, mostly for the available color palette and integral flash. I also changed hooks along the way – while I still use the U401 for some applications, I went through several hook makes/styles (Gamakatsu SC15, Partridge Predator, Kona USS) before settling on the Umpqua XS415 BN5X for sz1 and 2, and the XS420 BN5X for sz4-8. While they might be looked at as overkill for some fish, I’ve found the wide gape, long point relief, and closed aspect of these particular hooks to be pretty unbeatable in terms of converting eats to landed fish.

The “New n’ Improved Recipe” (Universal Minnow) is as follows:

Hook: Umpqua XS415 BN5X sz2

Thread: Danville 6/0, white

Body: Diamond Braid, pearl

Underwing: EP Sculpt a Fly, Baitfish Belly

Wing: EP Sculpt a Fly, Baitfish Olive

Head: Ice Dub, UV pearl

Eyes: Living Eyes 4mm, Ice

Resin: Loon UV Flow

A few tips if you’re inclined to “roll your own’ –

The recipe list is laid out in order-of-operations, but UV resin the body to the threadline BEFORE you put on the wind / head dub / eyes – this allows you to coat the diamond braid fully and makes the finishing resin coat easier.

When forming the wing, it is easier to taper “in hand” than clipping after the finish. Cut a section of EP fibers about half of the profile and twice the desired body length, then gently pull the ends of the fibers to create a “fishy” taper to the material. When you are ready to mount the wing, wrap the material around the thread so the end tapers line up, then overwrap onto the hook. As a bonus, the resulting “thread lock” makes it damn near impossible for the material to slip the wraps, UV resin or no.

After you dub the head, use barb-smashers (or similar flat, untextured-jaw pliers) to dorso-ventrally compress the dubbing – this makes a nice flat mounting spot for the eyes.

One of an absolute shitpile of snook that chewed some of the hair and both the eyes off a doppelganger

...and a satisfied member of the "scaling performance focus group", a lake-run rainbow with a 3.5" sz1 scaled-up doppelganger in its head.

Time to get tying!