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Pattern Index

"Itchy Chicken" Epoxy Deceiver
by Glen Mikkleson

There are no bright yellow baitfish in our Nor'east waters. Some juveniles of certain species have a dull coloration that only hints at being a true yellow, but none are so bright as what we can tie with synthetic fibers and fluorescent-dyed feathers and bucktails.

No one is quite sure why a bright yellow attracts gamefish, but it does, particularly when water visibility is low. More likely than not, the color stands out, triggering a striper's predatory instincts. The reaction may be due to hunger or, perhaps, defense.
In any case, yellow works, and the result can be big stripers on the line.

Glen Mikkleson's "Itchy Chicken" is a basic Deceiver-style pattern with an epoxied head. I don't know how Glen came up with the name, but it suggests the popular "Chicken-Scratch" surf lure made by Bomber. Yellow has always been a popular color among surfcasters and the "Chicken-Scratch" Bomber has often worked where everything else failed, so I guess you could say that Glen's pattern takes care of the "itch" that saltwater fly rodders just couldn't "scratch."


"The "Itchy Chicken" is a good pattern to use in the surf on the South Shore of Long Island during the night and under low-light conditions," Glen said. "It also can work well on the North Shore when the water gets churned.

  • Hook: Any Standard or Short-Shank saltwater hook.
  • Tail: White inside of Fluorescent Yellow inside of Grizzly or Chinchilla Saddle Hackles
  • Tailflash: Silver, Hot Yellow Krystal Flash tied inside of the Saddle Hackle
  • Body: Silver Mylar Braid wrapped around the hook shank and cover with a wrap of Pearl (dyed yellow) Flashabou.
    The body is coated with 2-Ton epoxy to turn the Flashabou translucent, allowing the silver braid to shine through. This gives the body an attractive baitfish-color. [See Glen's Skeeter pattern.]
    Complete this step and allow the epoxy to dry for two to three hours.
  • Underwing: White bucktail and a throat of red Flashabou fibers to simulate gills.
  • Topwing: Fluorescent Yellow Bucktail tied in Deceiver-style.
  • Head: Florescent Yellow on the top and Pearl underneath. Glen uses nail polish. You may also use paints, but test the paint to make sure it will not be "lifted" by the epoxy head finish in the final step.
  • Eyes: 2.5mm Silver Mylar Prism "Stick-Ons" with black center.
  • Wing: Brown over White Bucktail
  • Head Finish: 2-Ton Epoxy, coating the head and the eyes.

"Itchy Chicken With a Rash"

Glen says, "The pink variation has caught some nice ones at Montauk, and I've also lost a number of the flies to big fish."

The pink variation is tied the same way as the regular "Itchy Chicken," except for the coloration. Bleached grizzly hackle that has been dyed pink is substituted for the regular grizzly. Glen also adds pink to the tail flash and dies Pearl Flashabou pink for the body wrap. Fluorescent yellow bucktail is used for the underwing, and the topwing is florescent yellow bucktail over pink bucktail.

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