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Pattern Index

by Frank Abbate, Jr.

With fall here, bigger fish mean bigger bait. Peanut bunker from 4 to 6 inches long are along both North and South shores and fly tyers now scramble to tie either exact imitations or attractor patterns in their quest to fool some of the bigger of striped bass and bluefish.

The Skok's Baby Bunker is not only a great imitation, but is bulky enough to be classified as an attractor pattern because it pushes water as it’s retrieved. Although I have used an 8-weight rod by slowing down my cast and letting the rod tip catch up with the weight of the pattern, it’s best used with a 10-weight rod or better. Work with this fly a bit, and those big bass and blues won't know what hit ‘em.

  • Thread - Flat waxed nylon, white
  • Hook - 2/0 Tiemco 800 or equivalent
  • Body - white deer hair
  • Tail - pearl Angel Hair and white streamer hair
  • Wing - Olive streamer hair
  • Flash - pearl Krystal Flash, olive Flashabou
  • Body coating - clear silicone caulk
  • Eyes - Witchcraft Size 4


Tail Section

1: Dub in a small bunch of Angel Hair midway on the bend of the hook. Tie another bunch of Angel Hair about 3 inches long on top as part of the tail section.

2: Add a sparse amount of white streamer hair about the same length on top of that, and follow with a few strands of Krystal Flash.

3: Find the softest section of the bucktail with the least hoolow hairs. It’s usually in the top one-third of the tail. Tie in a small bunch right on top of the Krystal Flash and follow with one more bunch of white streamer hair.


4: Bring your thread to the midpoint on the shank and create a medium-size bunch of spun white deer hair. Trim to belly shape and tie off.

5: Start your thread behind the hook eye and tie in a small bunch of white streamer hair to the length of the tail section on both sides of the deer hair

6: Do the same with the olive Flashabou.

7: Add some olive streamer hair on top of the white and the Flashabou. Make it slightly shorter than the tail section. Whip finish your tie.

8: Coat the body with the silicone, extending the caulk a bit behind the bend of the hook, and add the eyes.

9: Let the silicone dry to the touch, then place a small, black dot toward the rear of the body. Apply a second, thin coat of silicone to seal everything. The silicone needs a good 24 hours to cure, so do a few of these patterns at one time and you won’t be wanting if bluefish come along.

Frank Abbate ties professionally under the Island Saltwater Flies label and is the current president of the Salty Flyrodders of New York. You can contact him via e-mail to  

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