Whether you’re on the East Coast, the West Coast or the Gulf Coast, you will find forage fish like the anchovy or smelt– and any number of species that resemble them. On the Gulf Coast we have the silversides which the following pattern imitates, however, the species is so generic in appearance that it could be easily altered to mimic dozens of other forage species just by slightly changing its length or coloration.
Hook: Gamakatsu SP11-3L3H size 6 or size 4 (for flies which will be 3 to 4-inches in length)
Thread: Danville ‘s 6/0 , white
Monofilament: clear 15# test any brand
Lead or Lead free wire: .025
Holographic tinsel: gold ,chartreuse
Holographic eye decals: ¼-inch, silver
Cone head: small , silver
Sili Skin: Thin clear , Clear, silver
*You will also need a white permanent marker and your choice of head cement.
First, place a small silver cone head onto the hook. Now with the hook securely in the vise, start your thread just behind the hook eye. Build a layer of thread in front of the eye that will hold the cone head about 3mm behind the eye. Tie a whip finish knot and cover the exposed thread with head cement.
Restart your thread just behind the cone head.
Wrap the hook shank with ten wraps of .025 lead (or lead free wire). Before you secure the wire to the hook, push it as far as you can into the back of the cone head. Next, secure the wire with an overlapping of thread.
Tie in a 3-inch piece of 15-pound monofilament just behind the lead wraps. This will help to further secure that the lead stays in place, as well as give support for the body and tail in the coming steps.
The tail is comprised of two equal-sized triangle pieces of thin Sili Skin (clear). The adhesive on the Sili Skin will hold the two pieces together as they are sandwiched around the mono tag.
For this step you will need to lighten the tension on your bobbin. Bring your thread down to the tail and secure the Sili Skin tail to the mono with several thread wraps. Then work your thread back behind the cone head and tie off.
For the body of this translucent fish, we will use an inner-body to represent the air sac and other internal organs seen through the flesh. For this we will use a piece of silver Sili Skin shaped like a spade.
Remove the protective sheeting and fold the Sili Skin over the hook and cone head . At this point you can add some white to the bottom of the belly with a marker, and then add the stick on holographic eyes.
The last piece to be added is the over body. It will be made with a piece of clear Sili Skin slightly longer than the fly. When folded it should also be slightly wider. Cut a slit for the hook to pass through. Starting with a 1/16-inch overlap of the tail, measure to where the hook begins to bend.
Now trim away the excess , but leave enough room near the hook eye to tie down your material.
Check out Fred’s website, www.realisticflytying.net, where Fred shares a wealth of information on realistic fly tying.