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Pattern Index

Epoxy Spoon Fly
by Herb West

Herb West is a charter member of the Eastern Fly Rodders.

My first glimpse of a Spoon Fly came when I was reading an article on Joe Bruce's pattern. A number of his flies can be found in the updated edition of Lefty Kreh's Saltwater Fly Patterns.
The important characteristics of a Spoon Fly pattern are its durability, shape, and color versatility, making it a worthwhile pattern for our entire Nor'east fly fishing season. Its fluttering and whirling action can send false albacore, bluefish, striped bass, and other species into a frenzy.
When I fish it on a sinking line, I wait for the pattern to reach the desired depth, then retrieve it in 1-foot strips, taking a short pause between each strip. The Spoon Fly flutters on the pause, imitating a stunned or wounded baitfish, and that's usually when a strike comes.
Have some fun tying and fishing the Spoon Fly. Vary the color and size, work it at different depths and with different retrieves, and see what you can entice out of our waters.


Hook: Mustad 34011 or equivalent; Size 6 to 2 for small patterns and 2/0 to 4/0 for large Spoons.

Thread: Fine, Clear Tying Mono

Tail: Holographic Tinsel or Flashabou; Silver is probably the most popular, but you may vary you color choice at will.

Eyes: Silver Prismatic Stick-On.

Body Frame: For hook sizes 6 to 2, use 15-pound-test Surflon coated wire. Move up to 20-pound-test for larger hooks.

Spoon Body: 5-Minute Epoxy mixed with your color choice of extra-fine glitter. Vary the color with dyes.

Body: Metallic synthetic.

Step 1: Put a smooth, sway back bend in the hook shank with a pair of needle nose pliers. Make sure the sway slopes gently from the eye to just before the bend.

Step 2: Place the hook in your vise, and start your thread wrap at the bend.

Step 3: Tie in the tail material, making the tail the same length as the hook shank.

Step 4: Wrap the thread forward to the eye, and tie in your body wrap material (Flashabou, etc.). Wrap along the hook shank to the bend, back up to the eye, tie it in, and trim the excess.

Step 5: Cut about a 4-inch length of the Surflon wire. Center its middle over the shank behind the hook eye, and tie it in, using Figure-8 wraps. Be careful not to kink the wire. You should be left with two fairly equal lengths of the wire, flaring out from the sides of the hook.

Step 6: Wrap the clear mono tying thread back to the bend. Bring both ends of the wire back to the bend, and give it a couple of wraps of thread, but so tight that you can't pull on the wire to shape the frame. Adjust the wire into a teardrop shape, full at the eye and narrow at the bend. When you're satisfied with the shape, give it a few more tight turns of thread at the bend, trim the excess, tie it in, and whip finish your mono thread.

Step 7: Place a Prism Eye on the top and bottom where you made the Figure-8 wraps behind the hook eye, and mix a batch of 5-Minute epoxy. If you like, add glitter flakes and/or coloring. A resin dye will work, but it can leave the body opague, and you may not want a completely solid color. I've used acryllic, vinyl, and latex paints as well. It takes a bit longer, but if you mix in only a very small amount, the epoxy will still set, and you'll have better color control. Of course, you may also leave the body clear with just a hint of glitter. While I haven't tried it yet, I suspect E-Z Shape Sparkle Body might work in place of the epoxy. Softex body-builder also works, but because Softex cures to a rubbery, flexible consistency, it's best to make the Body Frame out of a length of hard mono instead of wire.

Step 8: Use a small applicator (flathead toothpick, paper clip, etc.) and work the epoxy from the eye to the bend, filling in the wire body frame. Scrape away any excess epoxy from the sides of the body frame and from the top and bottom of the hook shank. This will keep the keel effect and the lateral line.

Step 9: Rotate the pattern on a drying wheel until the epoxy sets, and allow it to sit for about an hour before handling.
Note: Wintertime temperatures and drafts can effect epoxies, even in a well-heated house. If the cured epoxy is solid, but still tacky, give the body a light coat of Gloss Coat, clear vinyl, or similar clear finish.

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