Sunday, January 16, 2000

Coma Cockaho

Originator: Catch Cormier

Applications: speckled trout, smallmouth

Remarks:


The plastic H&H Cockaho Minnow is a favorite lure among speckled trout enthusiasts in the lower Barataria and Terrebonne Parish bays. The Coma Cockaho was created to match that plastic lure - it's a "full body" fly that has incredible flash and tail action.

It has been especially effective in the Fall months over reefs and in deadend canals across the Louisiana coast. Since 2006, it's also been used for smallmouth bass and in some cases, crappie, with fine results! 

Best overbody-tail and body colors are chartreuse / chartreuse (green water), sand-orange / pearl, and pink / pink. In winter or heavy overcast days, purple / purple works well.

Materials:
- Mustad 34011 stainless hook, size 1.
- 1/50 oz lead dumbell eyes, or equivalent.
- medium ice or estaz chenille.
- mylar tubing, pearl small
- Silli-legs.
- thread to match body or overbody color

Preparation:

Silli-legs usually come in segments with 1/4" solid at both ends and strips in the middle.  Fold the segment in half evenly and cut in half.  Each half will make one fly.

Also, cut a section of mylar tubing the length of the hook and remove the filler.

Instructions:

1) Tie in eyes about 1/4" from eye of hook.
2) Wrap thread toward bend of hook and stop above the barb.
3) Tie in one end of the mylar tubing (tubing facing back).
4) Secure estaz, then wrap thread back to just in front of the eyes. Wrap the estaz around the hook toward the eyes. Loop each wrap just in front of the previous wrap. Make one wrap in front of eyes, then secure with one wrap of thread.
5) Tie in the solid end of the Silli-Legs just in front of eyes.
6) Wrap the estaz over the secured piece of sillilegs, then tie off the estaz with a large hand whip finish and cut thread.
7) Tie in thread at the end of the Chenille body.
8) Divide the legs up into two even sections. Pull one section back over the top of the estaz, stretch it quite a bit, then make 2 wraps of thread over it.
9)  Pull back the other group of legs under the body, stretch and secure with 2 wraps of thread.
10) Now that the tail has been created, knot off the thread with a whip finish.
11) Trim the tail back to about the same length as the body.
12) Apply a light coat of Hard As Nails, or 30 minute (2 Ton) transparent epoxy, or UV epoxy to the sillilegs on top and below the body.  This will prevent them from breaking after several strikes from toothy fish.



Saturday, January 15, 2000

Crystal Shrimp

Originator: Tom Springer

Applications: anything that swims

Remarks:


Along with the Clouser Minnow and Woolybugger, the Crystal Shrimp ranks as one of the most versatile submergent flies in existence. This pattern has caught everything from Oscars and Peacock Bass to reds and redears, and all varieties of bass and coldwater trout. Even baby tarpon, carp and mullet have been known to eat it! It's a killer under lights. If seatrout or snook could talk, oh my, the stories they could tell!

Though there are several flies that bear the name "crystal shrimp", this variation by Tom Springer of Pensacola is not only very simple to tie, but has proven to be the most effective of the shrimp patterns. It's even credited with a 28 pound redfish that once claimed third spot on the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Fly Rod Records List.

Materials:

Hook: size 2-6, Mustad 34006 or similar
Thread: flat wax nylon in white or pearl
Body: small or medium diameter pearl crystal chenille or pearl crystal flash chenille
Antennae: krystal flash fibers
Shellback: krystal flash fibers
Eyes: quarter inch section of 50-pound monofilament, burnt at each end, then crimped in center

Instructions:

1) Tie in the thread base.
2) Tie in the mono eyes towards the back of the hook. Use a dab of super glue to secure in place.
3) Tie in several strands of krystal flash about 3" long at the rear of the hook, with about 1/2 to 1 inch of strands going past the bend of the hook.
4) Double back the remainder of the krystal flash towards the rear of the hook and tie it down so that it points away from the hook eye.
5) Tie in the crystal chenille over where the krystal flash is tied in, then bring the thread back to the hook eye.
6) Make one wrap of the chenille in front of the mono eyes, then proceed to wrap the chenille behind the eyes toward the hook eye. That first wrap helps to seperate the eyes outward. For a good body, always make the wraps tight against each other.
7) Tie off the chenille at the hook eye.
8) Take the long strands of krystal flash that we doubled back, and now extend them over the top of the chenille, and tie in at the hook eye. Some of the flash will extend over the hook eye. Trim so that the fibers extend about 1/8 inch past the hook eye. This will create the shrimp tail.
9) Whip finish and apply cement.


Friday, January 14, 2000

Vertically Oriented Strike Indicator

Originator: Catch Cormier

Applications: freshwater, saltwater

Remarks by Catch Cormier:


While attending a popper class conducted by Kirk Dietrich in 1991, the concept of the "popper-dropper" was mentioned for saltwater.  A Clouser Minnow or other weighted fly is suspended under a Popper.  After trying it out, I noted two faults: (1) the depth of the dropper fly couldn't be adjusted, and (2) the dropper section kept getting tangled in the popper hook.

So instead of using a popper, I simply took a styrofoam perch float, cut it in half, drilled out a concave face on each half, and made them into the fly rodder's popping cork.

Since use of a "perch float" was unacceptable to some fly rodders, I gave this creation the name "Vertically Oriented Strike Indicator" (VOSI). Kind of like "gambling" is illegal, but "gaming" is okay. Besides, unlike a perch float, the VOSI requires the correct leader formulation to insure the proper displacement of the trailing fly and it's action in the water. It's all in the 14 page operations manual.

Seriously, the name refers to the fact that it hinges the leader and fly into a vertical orientation, ie, about 45-90 degrees to a floating fly line. The vosi sits horizontally in the water, but when a fish strikes, even just a nibble, it bobs into a vertical orientation. If the cork goes under, it's time to set the hook. For freshwater, the pointed end faces the fly line. A slight twitch is all that's used. In saltwater, when fishing for specks, the concave (wide) end faces the fly line. Here the fly line is stripped, not twitched. A good hard strip causes the VOSI to pop, enticing specks to investigate the fly beneath. The plastic pin is always inserted into the narrow end regardless of it's use.

A few years later, there was an article by Lori Tucker-Eccher in American Angler magazine which explained why suspension methods are so productive for the flyfisher. Consider the sacalait, a.k.a. crappie or white perch. It lives and feeds tight among brush piles, tree roots, rocks and other structure. Success with crappie depends not only on placing the fly in it's feeding zone, but keeping it in the zone for a prolonged period. The VOSI serves to place the fly at the proper depth without the need for constant stripping, thus insuring maximum exposure to the fish. But in addition, slight twitches of the fly line, and consequently the VOSI, move the fly in a vertical fashion. An enticing action that no species can resist.

For freshwater, the most popular fly as a dropper is either a jitterbee or fluff butt. My friend Mark Hester has had great success using the vosi with a fluff butt tied on a jighead (leadhead). This allows the fly to suspend 90 degrees to the float and still keep a horizontal orientation. In saltwater, the most popular flies have been the Clouser, the EP Spawning Shrimp and several varieties of charlies. Though any fly with weighted eyes will work.

Materials:

Perch floats in either 1 1/2" length or 2" (slightly wide) length. The larger corks are almost always used for saltwater, for choppy conditions, but require a higher weight rod to cast. The smaller floats can be cast with as little as a 3 weight, but a 5 weight is recommended.

A dremel bit tool, conehead sander.

Xacto knife.

Sanding paper, 400 grain is good.

Instructions:

Using a Xacto knife, cut the perch float in half. Most of these floats come with a white end and a red end. If you plan to make Kirk's Perch Float Poppers, save the white end for that purpose (it eliminates having to do a primer coat).

Take the Dremel bit and bore out a cup face in the half-floats. Do this by hand - using the Dremel tool is not safe, and will eat away too much of the styrofoam.

If you wish to create a slit, take the Xacto knife and carefully cut lengthwise to the center. Take the sandpaper and pass the edge into the slit, then sand out the slit so it's wide enough to accept your leader.

If water is choppy, then a larger size vosi will work. If you have trouble making the vosi pop in saltwater, then modify the plastic pins. At the wide end of each pin, add a few wraps of lead weight and cover with thread, then epoxy over. This sinks the vosi just enough to make the cupped face "grab" water when stripped.

Thursday, January 13, 2000

Silli Butt

Originator: Ubitiquous

Version by: Catch Cormier

Species: panfish

Remarks:


This is a fly size version of a popular crappie tube jig. It uses silicone skirt material for the tail. Also known under brand names such as silli-legs, loco-legs, etc., the material most imitates the plastic of tube jigs.

Tube jigs have long been a popular lure for crappie anglers. Often when crappie strike, they attempt to injure the baitfish before eating it. When they strike and feel a pliable material that has "feel" to it, they'll strike again. If not, often they leave it alone. This observation comes from many hours of watching crappie in clear water under lights.

The Silli Butt gets it's name in part from from the "Fluff Butt" lineage of jig-like flies popularized by Mark Hester in the 1980s, along with the replacement of marabou with silli-legs thus "Silli". Like the Fluff Butts, the body material can vary.  However, the best "luck" has come from using Ice Dub Chenille or medium Ice Chenille.  These materials work especially well on bright days.

As with the Fluff Butt, a beadhead can be used in place of the preformed jig head. This is a suggested option for anyone seeking a Louisiana state fly rod listing.  Fish caught on the jighead version cannot qualify.

Materials:
Jig Hook (lead): 1/80 or 1/64 ounce
* update: the new competition jig hooks as an alternative
Standard hooks:  Mustad 9672 sizes 8 thru 12, or equivalent
Beadhead: tungsten size 5/32
Tail:  Sillicon skirt or Silli-Legs
Body:  Ice dub chenille, or medium cactus chenille

Instructions:

1. If using a beadhead, slide the bead up the hook to the eye.
2. Start a thread wrap. Make the thread body rough by wrapping back and forth in a few wide wraps.
3. Tie in a section of skirt tail, about 8 to 10 strands. DO NOT TRIM YET. Also note that the tail will flare if you wrap thread very tightly. If you do not wish it to flare, tie well secured but NOT tight. Then apply a drop of super glue to secure.
4. Tie in a small section of the body material (chenille, etc.) and secure back to just above the barb of the hook. Then take the chenille and wrap around the hook forward to just behind the head (or bead). Tie off the body material and trim material off. Finish with a whip finish or other knot.

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Fluff Butt

Originator: Ubitiquous

Version by: Mark Hester

Species: panfish

Remarks:


In the 1980s, Mark Hester was tying a fly rod friendly version of the marabou jig popular for crappie fishing. Using a finer chenille, a pinch of marabou tips, and a much lighter jighead (1/100 oz), he referred to this microjig as the Fluff Butt. It's light enough to cast with a 5 weight rod, yet with less material bulk it's also able to sink quickly on light leaders.

An avid crappie angler, Mark also experimented with fishing the Butt under a tiny nymph float (aka, strike indicator) next to submerged structure with great success. However, fishing it "straight", much like stripping in a woolybugger, creates an action that gamefish can't avoid.

In the early 90s, the Fluff Butt was one of the very first flies to be converted into a beadhead fly (thanks to an article on fly beads in a British publication titled Stillwater Trout Angler). The beadhead version doesn't sink nearly as fast. But a fish caught on a beadhead fluff butt can qualify for a Louisiana and IGFA fly rod record, while one caught on the jighead version cannot.


Materials:

Same as you would use to create a woolybugger. In fact, the fluff butt is best described as a bugger minus the hackle, but there are two other key distinctions as well:

1) use fine chenille or vernille instead of regular chenille

2) use fine marabou tips instead of the "wet hackly" ones

Other:
3) size 10 or 12 Mustad 9672 hook
4) bead size to match, or jigheads in 1/80, 1/100, or 1/124 ounces.

Instructions:

If using a beadhead, slide the bead up the hook to the eye. Wrap thread, then tie in a marabou tail. The length of the tail beyond the point where it's tied down should be as long as the hook shank.

Tie in a section of vernille. For best results, lay the vernille atop the hook almost to the bead (or lead head), then tie it in across it's length. If you do this, then as you spiral the tag section of vernille around the hook forward, it will lay even. When you get to the bead (head), cinch the vernille down with several wraps of thread. Then finish off with a whip finish or other knots.

Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Prince of Tides

Originator: Flip Pallot

Species: inshore saltwater

Remarks:


The Prince of Tides is based on the popular bendback design. Like the bendback, it's weedless design keeps it free of grass.

The problem with the conventional bendback in the Louisiana marsh is that the chenille body picks up mud. Then, no matter how much you try and clean the fly, it remains dirty looking. The "Prince" with it's body of either monofilament, larva lace or small V-rib, won't retain the mud and keeps a gleaning appearance that attracts Mr. Redfish.

Materials:
- Mustad 34011 or Tiemco 811s or similar, sizes 2 to 1/0.
- gold or silver vinyl ribbing.
- white bucktail.
- chartreuse or blue bucktail
- pearlescent crystal flash
- thread of same color as overwing bucktail

Instructions:

Make a 45 degree downward bend in the first 1/3 section of the hook shank. This is to form the fly head.

Next tie in the thread and wrap to end of shank. Secure in the vinyl rib. Bring thread back to fly head. Wrap vinyl rib around shank towards fly head. Tie off at fly head.

Turn hook over in vise, and tie in matchstick width of white bucktail, "color" bucktail, and then crystal flash, to form the wing. For added effect, add a few strands of either silver or gold crystal flash (to match body) on each side of the wing where a lateral line might exist.

Then build up the head with thread. Using different size dowels, create the fly eyes by using acrylic paint or nail polish in two or three different colors. Finally, after the eyes have dried, cover the head with clear enamel or two-ton epoxy.

Monday, January 10, 2000

Flasher Fly

Originator: Tom Broderidge

Species: bass, stripers, redfish, seatrout

Remarks:


In 1995, Tom Broderidge of Havana, Florida, wrote the first book on fly fishing the Gulf Coast, appropriately titled "Fly Fishing the Gulf Coast". Tom was a very popular tier and presenter at the FFF conclaves because he often left "conventional" at the door. The Flasher Fly is an example.

The Flasher has a gold braid body and a two-tone wing of bucktail or ultra hair. What makes it unconventional is a small spinner blade attached at the bend of the hook using a monofilament loop. The eyes were originally painted on using varying diameter sizes of dowels, but stick-on eyes are much easier. The eyes are important... like Tom did, I believe predatory fish key on eyes, especially in clear water.

When retrieving the Flasher, I use fast, small strips that allow the blade to rotate freely and away from the hook. However, a friend has caught a variety of species — mostly bass — by stripping in a Flasher and letting it flutter down for a few seconds.

Try both techniques and see which one works best.

Materials:

Hook: Mustad 34007 sizes 2 thru 1/0. This is a stainless hook that allows for fresh or saltwater use.
Body: Gold braid material
Wing: Ultra hair in white/olive, white/blue, or white/purple
Blade: size 2 Colorado blade

Instructions:

1. Wrap a thread base down to above the barb of the hook.
2. Cut 5-6 inches of 20-30 pound mono. Bend in half.
3. Slide the blade down to the bend.
4. Lay the folded mono along the hook, about 1/8 inch back of the hook eye. Check where the blade is. It should be about 1/4 inch past the end of the hook. Trim the folded front end, as needed, until the blade is in the right position.
5. Wrap thread and secure the mono.
6. Tie in a section of gold braid back to above the barb of the hook.
7. Wrap the braid around the hook, slightly overlapping, to an eye length behind the hook eye.
8. At this point, to help keep the braid from "sliding", add Hard As Nails or a thin coat of 2-Ton Epoxy or UV Epoxy along the body.
9. Tie in the lighter color of Ultra Hair at least twice as long as the hook length.
10. Tie in the darker color of Ultra Hair above the lighter color, also 2X the length of the hook length.
11. Build up the eye area with thread. Finish off with whip finish or other knot.
12. Attach stick-on eyes. Use Hard As Nails, 2-Ton Epoxy, UV Epoxy over head area to secure eyes.


Sunday, January 09, 2000

Whitlock Saltwater Baitfish

Originator: Dave Whitlock

Species: bass, pike, pickeral, redfish, trout

Remarks:


Another great fly of the late 20th century that gets overlooked today. In fact, it's getting near impossible to find a Whitlock Saltwater Baitfish in fly shops. But make no mistake, this is a "must have" for the Louisiana speckled trout angler. It's also good for pickeral, redfish, and bass.

Here's an addition to the fly that makes it even more effective: tie in a couple strips of lead wire along the "nose" of the fly. This sinks the nose on the pause between strips, adding more action to the marabou tail. Try it, you'll like it!!

Along with the marabou action, the eyes on this fly make it special. Predatory fish key on eyes, especially in clear water.

Materials:

Hook: Mustad 34011 size 1 or equivalent. This is a stainless hook that allows for fresh or saltwater use.
Tail:
Marabou (chartreuse, white, or yellow works best)
2 wide grizzly hackle feathers
Collar: olive schlappen feather
Gills: red Flashabout or Krystal Flash
Eyes: 7mm doll eyes
Additional: black antron dubbing

Instructions:

1. Wrap a thread base from midway on the hook back to the bend of the hook.
2. Tie in a clump of marabou feathers, equal to length of the hook, at the midpoint of the hook.
3. Tie in one grizzly hackle feather on each side. Make sure the feather tip extends just a smidge beyond the marabou.
4. Tie in the schlappen feather and palmer forward, stroking back the feather barbs.
5. Tie in the Flashabou or Krystal Flash for gill on the bottom of the body.
6. Wrap the thread back just a little. Add some antron dubbing to the thread and wrap over. The dubbing builds up a base for the eyes to attach.
7. Mix a bit of 1-minute epoxy and soak the dubbing with it. Then place an eye on each side and press it against the antron. This will hold the eyes in place for now.
8. Mix up a tiny batch of 2-ton epoxy or use UV Epoxy and brush over the eyes and dubbing base. This will keep the eyes from getting knocked off by hard hitting predatory fish.
9. OPTIONAL: As mentioned, add a strip of lead wire to each side of the hook above the eyes. Secure with thread. Use mono thread if you wish to keep the base appearance.

Saturday, January 08, 2000

SR71 Seaducer

Originator: Ubiqitous

Version by: Catch Cormier

Species: freshwater, saltwater

Remarks by Catch Cormier


Seaducers are perhaps the most overlooked fly today. They've been around since the late 19th century, and have been used for nearly every predator species from brown trout to stripers to tarpon. They've been credited by Chico Fernandez in landing his world-record redfish.

The Godfather of Fly Fishing, Lefty Kreh, writes in his book, Presenting the Fly, that Seaducers are "one of the best patterns for both large and smallmouth bass that I've fished. I never make a trip without some of these in my box.".

Despite it's many accolades, this fly is seldom seen in fly shops. But if you tie flies, good news - they're easy to tie, and the materials are common.

The SR71 version differs from the standard Seaducer in that, like other "SR71" patterns modified by Catch Cormier, they use Schlappen feathers for the hackle as opposed to standard hackle. Of course, a very webby hackle feather will also work. Unlike the standard version which "pushes" water when stripped, the SR71 version "pulsates" when stripped. Less effective in stained water, but more effective in clear water.

Materials:

Hook: Mustad 34007 sizes 2 thru 1/0. This is a stainless hook that allows for fresh or saltwater use.
Tail: several strands of Flashabou or Krystal Flash, four saddle hackle feathers
Body: Schlappen or very webby long saddle hackles (6 inches or longer)
Best colors: red/white, red/orange, black/chartreuse, barred olive/barred olive

Instructions:

1. Tie in several strands of Flashabou or Krystal Flash.
2. Then tie two saddle hackle feathers on each side. The feathers are slightly curved; tie them splayed out.
3. For the body, tie in a pair of schlappen feathers with the tips tied to the hook. Then palmer the feathers toward the hook eye and secure off with thread.
4. Build up a few wraps near the eye of the hook. Then soak the wraps with Hard As Nails or epoxy to prevent the toothy fish from tearing up the wraps.

Friday, January 07, 2000

Pete's Perch Float Popper

Originator: Pete Cooper, Jr.

Species: freshwater, saltwater


Video: Version by Kirk Dietrich

Remarks by Catch Cormier

The Perch Float Popper is one of the best poppers for reds in the marsh. Cast it in front of a cruising fish, give it just a slight strip, pause, and then watch the red submarine on it. Witnessing a redfish eat a popper is one of the awesome spectacles of nature! Speckled trout and bass love them too, especially early and late, on overcast days, and on warm afternoons in winter along edges of lakes and canals.

This is a fly that lends itself to assembly line production: do a half-dozen or so one tying step at a time. For example, paint the outer eye on each one - by the time the last body is being painted, the first one is near dry. This is the most efficient use of time.

Materials:

Styrofoam perch floats - such as the Comal brand - in either 1 1/2" length or 2" (slightly wide) length. The larger corks are almost always used for saltwater, for choppy conditions, but require a higher weight rod to cast. The smaller floats can be cast with as little as a 3 weight, but a 5 weight is recommended.

A dremel bit tool, conehead sander.

Xacto knife.

Sanding paper, 400 grain is good.

34007 hook size 2 or 34011 size 4 gives it a "top dog" action.

acrylic paint in black, red, white, and other colors.

wooden dowels with different sizes

2-ton or 30 minute waterproof epoxy.
 
Instructions:
 
Body Using a Xacto knife, cut the perch float in half. Most of these floats come with a white end and a red end. I use the white end for this popper and save the red end for VOSIs, aka the flyfishers popping cork.

Create a slit by taking the Xacto knife and carefully cutting lengthwise to the center. Take the sandpaper and and pass the edge into the slit, then sand out the slit so it's wide enough to accept a hook. Take the Dremel bit and bore out a cup face in the wide end.

Hook. Tie thread onto a hook where the popper body will sit. Make the wraps open-spaced going down the shank, then come back up the shank also open-spaced and tie off. This creates a wrapping that is uneven, with spots for glue to fill in the cracks. Slide the hook shank into the float slit so that it's about midway to the center hole. Also, try and have the body close to the hook eye so there's room to tie the tail (later) on the hook shank. If the only space left to tie the tail is on the bend of the hook, you'll have to sand/cut some body off or go with a longer hook. Even the body on the hook, then squirt Zap-A-Gap or other instant glue along the slit. Let it sit a few minutes to bond tightly.

Painting. Kirk Dietrich suggest acrylic paints for several reasons: easy cleanup with water, easy to "feather", the combinations are infinite, and they are reasonably cheap. Select a green, blue, or other darker color for the body top. Thin the paint with water. You want to achieve an airbrush look. One way to do this is use a foam sponge. Dip it in the paint, remove the excess by dabbing it on a piece of cardboard until it's basically damp. Then dab it on top the body so a stippled effect is achieved.

Eyes.Use three different diameter dowels, or one size sharpened to three different sizes, dip the largest diameter into red paint. Then apply it to the front of the body on each side. To get a good circle, you may have to rotate the dowel a bit. After dried, dip the smaller diameter dowel into white paint. Apply it so that the outer edge of the white dowel is even with the edge of the red circle on the head end. Then dip the smallest dowel into black paint. Apply it so the outer edge of the black dowel is even with the edge of the red/white circle on the head end.

Other painting. You might use a fine brush to paint gills just behind and slightly under each eye. You might use the black dowel to paint a spot on the tail end.

Epoxying. Make sure everything is dry on the bodies. Squirt out about a quarter's size of mixed epoxy (hardener and resin) onto cardboard or aluminum foil. Mix with a toothpick or half of a wooden mixing stick. Take a brush and apply a thin coat over the body. Make sure to fill in the crack where the body slit was made. Apply some to the cupped face as well. Do this quickly and then put the body on your turning apparatus.

Drying apparatus. If you use 2-ton or waterproof epoxy, you're looking at 30 minutes before the epoxy dries. Until then, the flies must be turned to avoid sagging. Epoxy fly dryers are available from Cabelas and most fly shops that carry saltwater tying materials. A DIY dryer can be made from a barbecue rotissiere and a block of foam (pool noodle foam works great). Kirk offers a cheap alternative: put toothpicks into both sides of a foam, and manually turn the foam over every five (5) minutes. This is what I did when I first started and it works good. But if you start doing lots of epoxy flies, the turning apparatus will be much more convenient.

Give the poppers about a day before they are really abrasion-resistant to the teeth of speckled trout.

Best Colors. My favorite color is green/white just about all year long. But in winter or in dark water, I like to go with a black/gray. This requires applying gray to the entire body as a first step. Another good combination is a red band around the front of the body with white on the backside. And of course, an all-chartreuse body works because "speckled trout like any color as long as it's chartreuse"!

Thursday, January 06, 2000

Coma Spoon


Originator: Catch Cormier

Version by Catch Cormier

Species: bass, white bass, inshore brackish

Remarks by Catch Cormier:


Most spoon flies, such as Cave's Wobbler or Kirk's Spoon, are "wobblers". That is, the fly wobbles side-to-side when stripping. The Coma Spoon and the Kirshner Spinner are "spinners". That is, the fly rotates.

The Coma Spoon has a longer, narrower body than Kirk's Spoon, so it sinks faster. On a strip, the fly rotates one direction. During the pause between strips, the fly rotates back the other direction. To insure enough tension to make this happen, tippets used for the Coma Spoon should be no less than 12 pounds.

Spinner spoons are not as weedless as wobbler spoons, but as mentioned, they do sink faster. This makes them better suited for fishing canal banks and lake shorelines.

Materials:
- Mustad 34011 stainless hook, size 1.
- 1/4" mylar tubing (Wapsi Large).
- red thread
- 5 minute epoxy
- 30 minute (2 ton) transparent epoxy
- Best colors for mylar: gold, pearl, flashabou (gold/pearl), green.

Instructions:

Using a pair of pliers, make a series of slight bends in the hook until it assumes a somewhat "caddis" shape. Wrap thread base from eye back to halfway down bend of hook. Cut 1 3/4" section of mylar and slide down shank from front until any unraveled endings are past thread. Secure mylar at bend with thread and knot off with a whip finish. Mix together a tiny amount of 5 minute epoxy. Using a toothpick, dab some epoxy into the mylar. Make sure to cover as much surface as possible, and especially towards the back. You now have about 3 minutes to work with. Place thread over mylar about 1/8" down from the hook eye, and make 3 to 4 tight wraps. With rough pair of scissors, trim off excess mylar covering the hook eye, then wrap thread over end of mylar to form head. By now, the 5 minute epoxy should be ready. Don on pair of rubber gloves, then press mylar flat. Keep working the mylar as the epoxy begins to set. After the mylar is nice and flat, take the hook out. Make a twist in the mylar (about 30-45 degrees). Allow to set further. Later, using a brush, apply 30 minute epoxy to the outside of the fly to make it waterproof, durable, and shiny.


Wednesday, January 05, 2000

LaFleur's Charlie

Charlie Originator: Bob Nauheim

Version by Mike LaFleur

Species: inshore brackish

Remarks by Mike LaFleur:

This is not an original fly designed by me.The original Charlie was developed in the 1950’s for Bob Nauhiem and named after his Bahamian guide Charlie Smith, who tied it for him.

There are many variations of this fly, but they are all basically an inverted hook pattern. After many years of experimentation and field testing, this is how I tie my Charlie for redfish, speckled sea trout and flounder in the Louisiana saltwater marsh. It meets my three standards for a fly: 1) It is easy to tie; 2) It is durable; and 3) It catches fish.

Materials:

HOOK: #2 Mustad 34007 or #2 Mustad Signature C71S SS circle streamer

EYES: Lead dumbbell eyes painted red with black ends. I use the Wapsi brand sold at many fly shops and catalogues. The size and weight is most important. I use size X-SM with a 5/32 diameter, weighing about 1/50 of an ounce. A change in the weight will change the up and down motion of the fly in the water column. Lately, you can only find 1/40 or 1/60 ounce eyes. They both work OK. Use the red/black for the pink and chartreuse Charlies and yellow/black for the black Charlie.

THREAD: Danville’s Waxed Flymaster Plus -210 Denier thread or a 3/0 light pink thread.

BODY: For the pink and chartreuse Charlies, use pearl colored Long Flash Crystal Chenille. You can also use Umpqua’s pearl Estaz. For the black Charlie, I use black opalescent Estaz Grande for a fuller body.

WING: Craft Fur. Wapsi makes a good light pink craft fur CRF 104, and black CFR 100, but no chartreuse. Hareline makes a good chartreuse XCF54.

Instructions:

1. Put the hook in the vice with the hook down (the normal way). Tie in the thread behind the eye of the hook and wrap down about half of the hook shank and then back towards the eye to about one lead eye length from the eye of the hook, leaving enough room for a nice head. Tie in the lead eye using figure eights, etc.

2. Tie off the thread and remove the hook from the vice.

3. Coat the wraps that hold the dumbbell eye on the hook with super glue. I use Zap-A-Gap CA+, and I usually do a batch at a time.

4. After the glue is dry, put the hook back in the vice with the hook point down and the lead eye on top. Tie in the thread behind the lead eye and wrap back to the bend above the barb. Tie in the Crystal Chenille using several tight wraps to make it secure. Then advance the thread to behind the lead eye. Wrap the Chenille forward in close wraps to the lead eye. Make several tight wraps of the thread and cut off the excess Chenille. Bring the thread in front of the lead eye and then take the hook out of the vice and turn it over so the lead eye is down and the hook point is up.

5. Take the patch of Craft Fur and grab some of the strands that, when twisted together at the base, will be about 1/8 inch in diameter. Cut off as close to the base as possible. This will give you a length of about twice the length of the hook shank. Tie in the Craft Fur in between the lead eye and the eye of the hook, on the hook point side of the hook (on the top as it is sitting in the vice). Continue wrapping the thread between the lead eye and the eye of the hook to form a nice conical head. Whip finish and cut off the thread. Coat the head with head cement. I use Hard as Nails.


Tuesday, January 04, 2000

Jitterbee

Fly: Jitterbee

Originator:  Randy Leonpacher

Species:  Bluegill, redear, crappie

Remarks (by Randy Leonpacher):
The Jitterbee is an excellent bead head nymph that looks like a bee with a cricket-like tail. Best colors are black/orange, black/red or black/chartreuse. This bug is my first line of offense for bream. It can be fished deep or under a strike indicator. In either case don't set your rod down 'cause once the bream get sight of this bug its gone pecan....

Materials:
- Eagle Claw Baitholder #080 in size 8 or 10. The Eagle Claw 181 baitholder hook found at K-Mart can be used as a substitute. Both are 2X heavy and have large eyes suitable for the large metal bead.
- 4mm 10K gold plated metal bead (I prefer the Halcraft brand found at hobby stores).
- Medium chenille or fine chenille (vernille) in black, red, burnt orange, or chartreuse. The medium is right for the size 8 hook, the fine is perfect for the size 10 hook.
- Black silicon rubber skirt material (used for spinner baits).


Instructions:
1) Smash the hook shank barbs on the Baitholder hook and straighten the slight bend/offset.
2) Bend the hook point enough to slide the bead on, then bend back to normal.
3) Wrap hook shank with thread and tie short piece of silicon rubber leg -- about 1/3 of a single strand. Double over short piece to make a forked tail. Secure with thread.
4) Pair up and tie in one color chenille with another color. Secure them with thread back to the v-tail. Contrasting colors always work best, such as black/chartreuse or black/orange.
5) Wrap paired chenille forward around hook to form banded colors.
6) Secure chenille by tying in just behind bead head.
7) TIP: add a small amount of head cement on thread before putting final wraps to give it extra resiliency. You'll need it if your jitterbee is to have any chance of survival after it's been viciously assaulted by a few dozen gobbules!