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Pattern Index

Cope's Rainbait


by Scott Copeland

Materials

  • Thread -- Danville's 3/0 white
  • Hook -- Size 4 or similar
  • Body -- 5-minute epoxy
  • Tail -- White Marabou (sparse)
  • Wing -- Tan Marabou (or other color of choice)
  • Flash -- Silver Angel Hair
  • Eyes -- 2mm Stick-on
  • Throat -- Red Pen Ink
  • Lateral line -- Black Flashabou

I came up with this pattern in an attempt to combine the realism of an epoxy fly with the liveliness of marabou. The result is a relatively simple tie which effectively imitates a variety of small baitfish. It can be tied in many sizes and colors to simulate the predominant baitfish in your area -- silversides, glass minnows, anchovies, etc. Tie up a bunch and test your leader knots!

Steps

 

1. Begin behind the hook eye and wrap the thread along the first one-quarter inch of the hook shank and tie in a sparse bunch of marabou strands along the bottom of the shank.

2. Tie in a bunch of tan (or other color) Marabou along the top of the hook shank followed by four to six strands of silver Angel Hair placed along both sides of the hook shank.

3. Tie in two strands of black Flashabou along both sides of the fly at the color separation and whip finish the head. This imitation lateral line can be important when finicky gamefish are feeding on anchovies.

4. Apply the 2mm stick-on eyes and add throat color with a red pen. Put a drop of a super-glue between the eyes to hold things in place while you're applying the epoxy.

5. Mix the epoxy and apply it to the materials along the hook shank, working front to back. Rotate the pattern while the epoxy sets and allow it to cure overnight before introducing it to the water.

Size can often be critically important when gamefish are feeding on "rainbait." Tying the pattern on hooks as small as a Size 6 or even 8 isn't unheard of, and might even spell the difference between a make or break outing. But don't let the small size of these patterns trick you into dropping down to a lightweight fly rod. As the old saying goes, "Elephants eat peanuts," and a big bass can inhale one of these tiny baitfish with as much gusto as a larger one.

Scott Copeland is a physical therapist and fly rodder from Bridgeport, Connecticut. "Every chance that I get from April through November is spent fly fishing the Sound," he says, "particularly the area between Fairfield and Norwalk. I have been a life-long saltwater angler, but have been fly fishing the salt for only four years. Part of the appeal of fly fishing for me is to tie limitless patterns and experiment with different designs of my own creation."
Scott can be reached via e-mail to skcope@mindspring.com/.

 




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