For January’s fly of the month, we present Blake’s version of a fly originally developed by Frank Smethurst for Baja roosterfish. I told Blake I wanted something for an upcoming trip so he had to make due with materials that he had on hand. You can find the original pattern here and to see how crazy Frank Smethurst is about roosterfish, watch this:
I won’t be running down the East Cape of the Baja Peninsula, but I am hoping to catch a roosterfish on the fly next month. The three main requirements of the pattern seem to be:
1. More natural with less flash
2. Black edge on tailing material
3. Big head to push some water
– Gamakatsu sc15, 3/0.
– .030 lead
– Farrar flash blend
– EP foxy brush
– Pseudo marabou
Step 1. Clamp hook in vise and put as much lead as is desired. Wrap lead with some thread to secure it. I like to add a little super glue to make sure it stays in place. Bring thread to the bend.
Step 2. Pull out an amount of flash blend that is half as much as you want on the finished fly. I tie it in in the middle of the material and pull the rest back to double the quantity. The pattern calls for super hair, or something like it, that has no flash in it. The flash blend has a good bit of flash, but it’s all i had. Fish around here normally don’t care about that sorta thing, we’ll see if roosterfish do.
Step 3. I use some UV cure epoxy and hit the base of the tail to help prevent fouling. This is easier for me than tying in a mono foul guard or something like that. The body materials will cover the section that is glued.
Step 4. Tie in the EP fox brush at the back of the hook and wrap up the shank of the hook. The tightness of these wraps will help to determine the thickness of the body of the fly. If you are trying to imitate a thick bodied fish such as a menhaden or shad, take more, less spaced out wraps. If going for a more mullet shape, spiral wrap the brush so that there is less material along the shank (see last picture for different body thicknesses).
Step 5. As with wrapping most materials, some of the fibers will become tangled. Use your bodkin to pick out the material
Step 6. Tie in a clump of pseudo marabou on the bottom side of the hook. I try to taper the ends of the clumps. (I found this material at Cabela’s in the Bargain Cave for cheap. I prefer it to synthetic wool as it stacks well to make a full head, but it doesn’t carry much water or weight)
Step 7. Repeat Step 6 with your dorsal color. Make sure that the top and bottom colors meet on the sides of the shank to fully shroud the hook.
Step 8. Bring the thread to the front of the fly behind the eye and create a thread jamb to force the materials back. I also use my bodkin to pick out the material so that none is trapped. Part off thread.
Step 9. Trim the pseudo marabou to the shape that you want. I was going for a more mullet look so i made the head a little more slender.
Step 10. Pull the tail material taught, decide the length you want (remember that the material will spring back and will be shorter than it is stretched), and mark the end with a black sharpie. I also made a few light marks along the tail to the body of the fly.
Step 11. Cut the tail at the back of the sharpied mark. Finished fly.
As with most unruly flies, I like to run them under warm water and hang them by the eyes to dry and fix a more realistic shape. See the different shapes of the following. The top fly had tighter brush wraps and two sections of marabou while the second is the fly tied with the above steps. Enjoy.