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Pattern Index

Laser Flies
by Bob Veverka

Like most of my saltwater patterns, the Laser Fly series evolved over time. Basically, they are flies tied with various types of braid, such as Corsair , E-Z Body or Tubraid. Cut to the size and, with a little shaping, you can match a lot of different types of baitfish. One of the first braid flies I ever saw was Jack Gartside's sand eel pattern. At the time, this was a very simple and basic pattern, but I also thought, "What a beautiful fly," and, "How perfectly it duplicates a sand eel." It made me start thinking of other baitfish -- silversides, bunker, sardines, ballyhoo, and small mackerel. The possibilities seemed endless.

On a recent trip to Baja, our minds were on how to take roosterfish on a fly -- not an easy thing to do. Roosterfish can be very aggressive feeders, so I know that they can be taken on the fly. Before we left I tied up a braid fly that looked like a sardine. I acquired some holographic foil from Joe "Crease Fly" (or is it "Legend?") Blados. He uses the same foil for his Crease Flies.

The holographic foil gave the pattern a silvery, baitfish look. Unfortunately, I didn't take any roosters on it, but I had some real long looks that could have turned into a grab, and I left with a lot of ideas.

One night, the idea came to me of sliding the holographic foil inside the braid so that the silver effect would run all the way to the back or tail of the fly. I always strive to make my flies look as close as possible to the naturals that I want to duplicate and I can come very close with these materials. Sometimes you know if a pattern will work just by looking at it, and this fly had that look.

I found out this past May on another Baja trip. I didn't get a chance to throw it at a roosterfish, but I caught dorado, bonito, skipjack, and yellowfin tuna. I also hooked a sailfish, but lost it. Fishing was tough this past May in Baja, but this fly worked when others couldn't buy a hit.

Since then, I have tied the Lasers to match all types of baitfish -- silversides, bay anchovies, herring, and bunker for the Northeast, pilchards and ballyhoo for the Florida Keys, and sardines, flying fish, and mackerel for the East Cape of Baja. They are easy to cast, very rarely tail wrap, and hold up well. You can also add a sound to your flies by putting a rattle in the braid before you tie off the tail.

Materials:

Hook
Shortshank, wide gap hook, size depending on baitfish. (Size 1 or 2 for silverside and sand eel patterns; 2/0 to 3/0 for sardine or tinker mackerel.)

Thread
Color to match baitfish or mono thread

Body
Corsair, E-Z Body Braid or Tubraid, 1/2- to 1-inch diameter with holographic foil center

Tail
Marabou to match baitfish color

Eyes
Silver prism stick-ons

Permanent ink marking pens to tint pattern

Epoxy

Long Island Lazer (Bay Anchovy)

1: Cut braid to desired length of the baitfish you want to match.

2: Shape the material by pushing the braid together and pinching it to form the belly of the fly. You want the two ends of the braid to have a taper. The front taper makes for an easy and neat tie in area. The back taper makes for a tapered baitfish profile.

3: Align the front taper with the eye of the hook so that you know where the hook will come out of the braid. If you like, make a small dot with a marking pen. Put the point of the hook inside the braid and through the exit mark.
I use short-shank, wide-gap hooks, such as the Tiemco 800s and the Eagle Claw 254ss. After a few, you'll know where to have the hook come out of the braid for a balanced fly.

4: Fold the holographic foil in half, and cut it into a belly shape. Slide it inside the braid. I cut both ends of the foil to a fine taper so it ties in neatly.

5: With your hook in the vise wrap three-quarters of the shank with tying thread, coat with a strong glue, and slide the front taper of braid just behind eye of hook. Tie in. Make sure the front of the foil will be under the tying thread that forms the head. Tie off head.

6: I use a tuft of marabou for the tail. Select a color that will accent the overall color of the pattern. I leave the stem of the quill on, cut it to size, and slide it in the end of the braid. Tie off with tight turns of tying thread.
Ed. Note: A drop of a super glue can help keep the tail together.

7: Add stick-on eyes, and color the top of the pattern with various shades of marking pens to imitate specific baitfish. Epoxy the head and put a small bead on the tail tie. I usually use 5-minute epoxy and hand turn each to get consistent results.

Look for Innovative Saltwater Flies by Bob Veverka with color photography by Michael Radencich, featuring the Lazer Fly plus 270 patterns from Capt. Joe Blados, Glen Mikkleson, Mark Sedotti, Ken Vanderlaske, Capt. Jeff Cardenas and others.
Also visit Bob's Internet website -- Counterfeiter in Feathers.

 




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