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Fly Tying

September’s fly of the month is, in my opinion, one of the more realistic shrimp patterns out there.  It is Blake’s version of Bob Popovics Ultra Shrimp fly.  This is a great pattern for inshore use, especially at night, under the lights.  It should be pretty durable too with that UV Knot Sense.  Speckled trout of Grand Isle beware, this fly is coming for you.

Materials:

Mustad 3407 size 2
EP fibers
Mono eyes
Krystal flash
White thread
Loon UV Knot Sense
Soft/webby bugger hackle

Attach thread and bring to the bend. Prepare some mono eyes using a lighter and sharpie marker to color them black.
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Tie in a small clump of EP fiber down a little into the bend.
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Tie in eyes on each side. I put a thread bump in front of the tie-in spot to splay the eyes out a little.
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Tie in the hackle by the butt so that when wrapped, the longer fibers will be towards the back and the shorter around the eye. Dub the body of the fly, including around the eyes. I forgot to dub around the eyes, but I don’t think it matters, just looks better to the fisherman.
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Palmer the hackle and tie off at the eye. I try to get the fibers to lay back towards the bend.
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Cut the top half of the fibers pretty close to the body.
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Tie in another longer clump of the EP fibers. Here i used double what i tied in in the earlier step. The bottom picture is what it looks like when you pull the fibers tight.
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Then add UV knot sense. I run a bead between the body and the fibers and then some in the fibers themselves. If you put some tension on the fibers, the glue oozes out of the fibers and creates a smooth body. I also pinch the fiber to make the vertical and create the profile i want. Below is the fibers under tension and not under tension with the glue applied.
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I added two strands of crystal flash for the antenna then cured the glue with the UV light. Here’s the finished product. color can be changed by either coloring the EP fibers or using different colored body materials (dubbing, chenille, etc.).

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skullet

What do Hulk Hogan, Benjamin Franklin, William Shakespeare and David Crosby all have in common?  They all rocked a skullet at some point in their lives.  With the rate that my hair is receding I could sport a mean skullet myself pretty soon, perhaps elevating my awesomeness to the caliber of those skullet-bearers before me!  Blake’s latest pattern pays tribute to those brave men before us via fish skull and zonker strip.  Use this fly whenever you want to catch the most baddest ass fish in the pond/river/lake you’re fishing.

Materials:

  • Hook to match the size of baitfish you are trying to imitate
  • Fish skull
  • Mono
  • Bucktail
  • Rabbit zonker
  • Trilobal fiber
  • EP Fox brush
  • Krystal flash

1. Put the fish skull over the hook eye to make sure that it will fit. Start the thread and put down a base. I like to stop the base where the fish skull will end. It acts as a reference point so I don’t overcrowd the eye.

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2. Tie in a mono loop at the bend of the hook. This helps to support the zonker so that it doesn’t foul as much.

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3. Tie in some bucktail on the under side of the hook. This fills in a bit of the body and also gives a tad bit more support for the zonker.

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4. Tie in the zonker. Pull the tag in back and out of the way for the next steps.

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5. Tie in the trilobal wrap and palmer.

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6. Tie in the EP brush and palmer a few wraps. This material is what is going to give you the profile. The more wraps you do, the bigger the profile. I was going for the finger mullet look, so I went with three. Pick out the fibers after wrapping.

Unpicked:

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Picked:

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7. Separate the brush fibers on the top of the fly, bring over the zonker, tie in, clip excess, and tidy up behind the eye.

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8. Tie in red krystal flash on the bottom for gills. Whip finish.

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9. Coat the head with glue and push on the skull. I normally like to make a few wraps between the skull and the eye with thread, but I didn’t have room here. The glue will hold it on just fine though.

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10. Add the eyes that come with the skulls using some glue and the fly is ready to go. I like to run these flies under hot water and let them dry by hanging them from the hook eyes. It sets them in a nice, bait fish shape. Enjoy!

Before bath:

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Completed fly after bath and dry:

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