Wednesday, February 09, 2000

Rio Bandito

Originator: Chris Johnson

Species: Rio Grande Perch, sunfish

Remarks by Jim Johnson

The Rio Bandito is sometimes referred to as the Mardi Kraw, although there's another fly of that same name. It was created by Chris Johnson of Living Waters Fly Fishing, for the Rio Grande Perch in the Hill Country waters of Texas.

I bought a couple while in the shop a couple of years ago and when I returned to Louisiana I found it to be my go to fly. I’ve caught nearly every species of sunfish we have here to include crappie, warmouth, and both spotted and largemouth bass. It’s murder on small creeks!


  • hook: Jig hook - size 12
  • bead: tungsten beads - metallic red - size 1/8”
  • tail: guard hairs of fur
  • body/collar: fur dubbing in a loop (rabbit or squirrel strips)
  • legs: silicone legs, matching color

Best colors:  crawfish orange, natural, olive


Video by Chris Johnson

Johnson's Rio Bandito from Living Waters Fly Fishing on Vimeo.


At the 2020 annual "Rio Grande Fly Fishing Rodeo" hosted by the New Orleans Fly Fishers, Glen 'Catch' Cormier won "Biggest Rio" category using a crawfish-colored Rio Bandito.