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Pattern Index

by John Timmerman

The thought for the Articulated Crease Fly started by listening to conversations about jointed plugs and how successful they were in relation to the one-piece versions. The only topwater pattern I could think of that could match the action was the Crease Fly created by Capt. Joe Blados of Maverick Charters on Long Island's North Fork.

Using Joe's Crease Fly technique as a foundation, my first attempts at building a jointed saltwater pattern had the hook on the aft section and dressed only with arctic fox fur and flash. I joined the body and tail sections with 30-pound-test monofilament line. Close, but no cigar.

The next attempt was to make the tail portion with sheet foam and use the arctic fox fur as a dressing. At this point, I still had the hook attached to the rear section.

Both versions caught fish, but bluefish had a tendency to bite the tail at the mono connection, so wire replaced the mono. At least now more fish were released by me instead breaking free on their own.

The next step was a simple one. I showed my efforts to the originator of the crease fly, Joe Blados, and sought his blessing and advice. He told me that an attempt at a jointed pattern was done many years ago with the hook on the forward section. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out, but that sounded like a good idea, so it was back to the drawing board.

By moving the weight and center of gravity of the hook forward, the tail had more freedom of movement, giving the pattern more of a life-like action. The result is the pattern you see here.

Some experimenting with different retrieves was necessary with each copy since no two were identical. In dead water, a slow retrieve gives the tail more action than a quick retrieve. The best action comes with a jerk-and-pause retrieve across a current or through a rip.

Since I find topwater fishing the most exciting form of fly fishing, I'll keep trying to improve on this fly. So far, it has worked very well, that equals fun, and fun is why we do it.


  • Hook -- Tiemco 800 2/0
  • Thread -- White Flymaster Plus
  • Tail -- White Arctic Fox, Marabou, Bucktail, etc.
  • Body -- White Sheet Foam & Foil
  • Wire -- Clear-coat Braided Wire approx. .028-inch diameter
  • Permanent Ink Marking Pens
  • Stick-On or Molded Eyes
  • Cyanoacrylate (Super) Glue
  • Epoxy
1: Prepare the foam as you would for one of Joe's Chrome Crease Fly patterns. My most productive patterns are made with the leaf foil that Joe packages in his Crease Fly Kit. You can mail order a kit by contacting Capt. Joe Blados at 516-765-3670.

2: Build the tail by clamping about a 1-inch length of the wire in the vise and tying in the tail material.

3: Fold the wire on itself and lash it together, creating a small loop. You should have about a 5/8-inch length of looped wire. Apply the CA glue and allow it to dry.

4: Cut another length of the wire long enough to reach from the hook eye to the outside of the hook bend when it's looped. Pass the wire through the tail loop, even the ends, and start to lash the wire together, creating a loop the same size as the one on the tail section. Lay the wire loop on top of the shank, and wrap to the eye. Whip finish, coat with CA glue, and let dry. The tail section loop will ride vertically -- the body section loop will ride horizontally.

5: Cut two pieces of foam to match the lengths of the tail and body sections. The tail foam should begin just behind the loop and extend to the end of the wire. The body section from just forward of the wire loop to the eye.
Fold the tail section foam, trim it to shape, glue it in place, and hold until secure.
Fold the body section foam, and trim it to shape, matching the contour to the tail. Glue it in place, as well.

6: When the glue is dry, push the front of the foam down to create a slight oval at the hook eye, apply CA glue, and allow the shape to set. As an option, you may want fill the cavity with a small piece of foam and glue it in place.

7: Color the foam with marking pens as you like, add the eyes, and apply a light coat of a 30- to 45-minute setting time epoxy.

John and his wife, Betty, are active members of the Salty Flyrodders of New York. His Articulated Crease Fly recipe also appeared in the club's monthly newsletter, Double Haul.


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