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Pattern Index

by Jaiem Fleischmann

The Deceiver is among my favorite styles of saltwater flies, so I turned to it when I wanted a pattern that would imitate medium-size baitfish, such as a mullet, small herring, or tinker mackerel, and would also cast well. The combination of hackle and flash adds a very life-like motion to this pattern, and it holds its shape effectively. Despite it's size, it casts nicely on a 9-weight or heavier outfit.

The Blue Skye Deceiver can be fished day or night. I've had my best success in the early dawn hours. In shallow waters, I generally use this fly with an Intermediate line and a steady hand-over-hand retrieve or a slow retrieve if I'm coming across a rip or fishing in a current. In faster or deeper waters, a faster sinking line gets it down to the strike zone where I fish it more slowly and with a moderate, steady retrieve to imitate a baitfish struggling against the current.

It has proven effective for a wide range of gamefish, including bass and blues, particularly during the fall.

  • Hook: Mustad 34007 Size 3/0
  • Tail: White Saddle Hackle (approx. 4 inches), White Krystal Flash
  • Wing: Blue Grizzly Hackle (approx. 6 inches), Navy Blue Krystal Flash
  • Body: White/Pearl Mylar tubing (approx. 6 inches)
  • Throat: White Bucktail, Red Krystal Flash
  • Thread: White
  • Eyes: 2.5mm Silver Stick-On
  • 5-minute epoxy, head cement, 30-pound-test clear mono (approx. 3 inches)


1. Attach thread to hook shank near the bend. Secure one end of the mono (tag end towards the hook eye) on one side of the shank and the other end of the mono on the opposite side of the shank. This will form a loop extending behind the hook bend. Adjust the mono to size the loop at approximately one-half inch long. Trim the mono tag ends.

2. Select four white saddle hackles and remove the fluff at the base. Put the hackles together and secure the feathers tightly near the hook bend, allowing them to extend over the mono loop. The mono loop will help support the hackles and reduce fouling.

3. Tie five or six strands of white Krystal Flash along both sides of the hackles, extending to the tip of the feathers.

4. Work the thread forward to the eye of the hook. Tie one end of the white/pearl Mylar tubing at the eye of the hook. Wrap the hook shank with the tubing, working backwards towards the hook bend (covering the hackle/loop threads) then forward again to build up the body. When you again reach the eye of the hook secure the other end of the tubing.

5. Rotate the fly (180 degrees) so that the hook point is now on the top.

6. Select a sparse amount of white bucktail (approx. 2 inches) and tie it to the underside of the hook secured at the eye. Allow the bucktail to extend slightly beyond the hook bend. The bucktail should not be so thick so that it hides the point.

7. Tie 10 to 12 short strands of red Krystal Flash (approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inches long) over the bucktail as a throat.

8. Rotate the fly back to its upright position.

9. Select three large, broad blue/grizzly hackles and remove the fluff at the base of the quill. Put the hackles together and tie them in on top of the hook at the eye. Secure the hackles tightly and let them extend back over the top of the body to the end of the tail.

10. Tie in four or five strands of navy blue Krystal Flash evenly along both sides of the blue grizzly hackle.

11. Build the head up with thread and whip finish.

12. Attach a silver eye to both sides of the head and coat with head cement.

13. When the cement is dry, coat the head with 5-minute epoxy and place the pattern in a drying rotator so the epoxy sets evenly. Allow the epoxy to cure thoroughly and you're done!

Jaiem Fleischmann is a long-time member of the Salty Flyrodders of New York and professional tyer whose patterns are available through his unique fly rodders' Internet website -- -- that includes original angling art and books.


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