For a medium-size fly to imitate
medium-size bait, start with a 2/0 stainless steel hook. Wrap a lump
of thread a little less then halfway down the hook. Go up on the shank
about a millimeter and wrap another lump. This will be your foundation
for the dumbbell eyes.
The eyeballs come in many different sizes
and styles. I prefer to use the pre-painted brass or chrome dumbbells.
Three-sixteenths of an inch is a good size for general use, however,
go up to one-quarter of an inch if you are planning on fishing the
In the same respect, go down to
the 5/32 inch if you plan to fish shallow.
Place your dumbbell eyeballs between
the lumps of thread and tie them in by wrapping a Figure-8 pattern.
Wrap until you feel that the eyes are secure, and then tighten everything
by wrapping in circles directly under the eyes. A drop of head cement,
or Zap-A-Gap glue on the thread is recommended.
Next, pick out two white saddle
hackles. Cut them to a length of about 4 inches. Again, length depends
on what kind of fish you're targeting and what type of bait you're
Tie in one feather on each side,
directly behind the eyes. Splay them so they lay outwards from the
hook shank. This might look a little awkward, but it creates a lot
of action in the water. The splayed feathers undulate when you strip
the fly. If you're looking for a larger profile, double-up on the
After you have secured the feathers
to the hook shank, add a pinch of flash between the two feathers.
There are hundreds of brands of flash out there, each with its own
qualities. My favorite is pearl Flashabou because it reflects purple
and pink, some of the same colors you'll see in baitfish.
Take a 1.5-inch pinch of chartreuse
bucktail or yak hair and tie it in front of the Flashabou, making
sure it disperses evenly over the hook shank. I started out tying
this fly with bucktail, however, yak hair has much more fishable qualities.
It's flexible, allows more of a bulky profile with less material,
and doesn't hold water, which is important when casting.
Turn the fly over in your vice
and tie in a sparse 1-inch pinch of yak hair or bucktail on the underside
of the hook shank behind the eyes. A small pinch of flash over the
hair is also recommended.
In front of the eyes, toward the
eye of the hook, tie in another 1-inch pinch of bucktail or yak hair.
If you prefer to give the fly a bit more allure, try using polar flash.
It has the same characteristics as yak hair, but is inundated with
flash. Turn the fly over and do the same underneath. It's important
to make sure that the material is evenly distributed over the shank
of the hook. It's also a good idea to tie in a 1/4-inch piece of sparse
pinched red yak hair directly under the eyes for that wounded baitfish
Secure with several wraps of the
thread and trim bitter end of the material with a pair of good snips.
Cover completely with thread all they way up to the eye of the hook.
Secure with a good head cement.
Last, but not least, snip away
stray and excess hairs and trim to desired size.
The result is a weighted fly that
acts like a jig when stripped at the proper speed. The feathers create
an undulating motion that looks very appetizing to any predator. The
yak hair or bucktail creates a nice baitfish profile that most fish
find appealing. The flash is sure to get any big predator's attention.
Be creative with this pattern.
Try different amounts of materials, try different colors, and different
I prefer to tie this pattern in
solid black if I plan on using it at night. For low-light conditions,
such as dawn or daybreak, I'll tie it in solid yellow. During the
day I've found the most productive color to be a white and chartreuse
combination. If it's overcast, I'll switch to solid chartreuse. Likewise,
if it's sunny out, and the water appears to be relatively clear, I
prefer to use solid white. If I'm targeting weakfish, I'll tie the
fly in solid pink or bubble gum. I'm not entirely sure why, but this
color outfishes any another, especially in the spring.