Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bonefish Mania! Fly-Tying 101: #8 The Crazy Charlie

The months of tropical fishing have descended upon us here in the Pacific Northwest. And by that I mean, for those that don't steelhead in our lovely winter weather and can afford it, they trick their significant other into a tropical getaway, ditch them at the pool and go fish for Permit, Tarpon, Bonefish, etc. Or those of you that are lucky enough to have a fishing spouse then you can forget the ditching them at the pool part.

this usually entails loading up on leaders, tippet and of course, flies. Crabs, shrimp, and other scintillating patterns top the list, and most look like you need a PhD in physics to tie. We have a super simple fly that you can vary in color that will work, and work well. It also works up here for Salmon, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat in pink and chartreuse, so you got that going for you as well. Here we go with fly-tying victim #8, The Crazy Charlie.

Supply List
Hook: Daichi 2546 #6
Thread: UTC 140, match color to body
Eyes: Bead Chain Eyes, silver
Body: V-Rib, Match color to thread
Throat: Calftail, Same color as body/thread
Flash: Pearl Crystal Flash

Step 1:  Anchor thread onto hook shank. Cut bead chain eyes so that you have two beads connected. Place near eye of hook leaving enough space to build a head later. X thread over the center of the bead chain eyes 8-10 times tightening it down as you go making sure the eyes stay straight. If you feel they are still loose after this you can wrap thread until you feel it is tight enough.

Step 2: Wrap thread back towards the bend of the hook, tie in the v-rib (for this we are using chartreuse, which is the most popular color), wrap thread forward in front of the bead eyes. Wrap the v-rib forward keeping it tight and being sure to not overlap. Wrap to the back of the eyes, then pull it up and over the eyes between the space. Tie it down and trim excess.

Step 3: If you have a rotary vise, flip the fly over so it is upside down. If not, Pull the fly out and turn it upside down. Take a clump of calftail (You can also use bucktail if you so wish), tie it in base first. You want the calftail to be about 1.5-2 times as long as the hook shank. Tighten it down, trim the calftail bases at an angle from the hook eye backwards.

Step 4: Cut the crystal flash the same length as the calftail, tie it in over the calftail, tighten down, trim excess and tie over the calftail and crystal flash, building a nice even head. Whip Finish. I also recommend cementing the head.

Where It Fishes: Anyplace you can find bonefish or permit or tarpon. The Bahamas, Belize, Florida Keys, etc. The green and pink version also works very well in Washington on Chum salmon, steelhead and coho in the rivers. And sea-run cutthroat, pink salmon in the sound from the beaches.

Colors: Pink, tan. chartreuse, silver, orange, black and white. I've also seen a blue version not sure if it fishes or not. 

As usual, this and other fly-tying lessons can be found on our Fly-Tying Page.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins.

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