ARCTIC FOX BAITFISH – By Capt. “Mad” Mike Benson

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on February 21, 2014 11:06 am

This is a great little, “do anything”, baitfish pattern. Color options are endless, limited only by the available colors of fox. This fly sinks very slowly, and can be worked just under the surface of the water, making it deadly for shallow water predators… Bass, Reds, Snook, baby tarpon… she will do it all.

You can email Mike directly ([email protected]) or visit him at the Charleston Angler

Hook: SC15 2/0
Thread: Flat waxed nylon (color of your choice)
Tail: Magnum Rabbit Strip & Pearl Flashabou (or other color depending on pattern)
Body: Spun Arctic fox tail
Eyes: Clear cure good adhesive eyes.. (or weightless dumbell eyes if you want)

Select your hook and place it in the vice.. Tie in a looped tail guard in at the rear of the hook using 50 or 60 lb hard mono..



Select a piece of the magnum rabbit strip. The length of the rabbit will depend on how long you want the overall pattern to be. I usually let it extend approximately 2.5 inches behind the bend of the hook.


Rabbit tie in

Select about 4 or 5 strands of the flashabou. Cut the strands in half and tie one clump in on each side of the hook. Tie the clumps in at the mid-point of each clump and fold the front section back and tie off.


tie in flash

finished flash

Using your bodkin split your thread in half. Take a clump of the Arctic fox tail and insert it into the split thread. Spread it out evenly and spin your bobbin. You want the thread to tighten up around the fox, but you DO NOT want it to start twisting the fox hair. Once the fox is fairly snug, begin wrapping it forward, combing it backwards with your fingers as you go.





movin forward

Continue forward repeating the process stopping every second or third clump to “pick” the fox out with your bodkin. When you reach the eye of the hook whip finish.

full blown

Pick out the fox well. Then, using your scissors, shape the head into whatever baitfish shape you like. Keeping in mind that this is natural fiber that will trap air and absorb moisture.. therefore, the shape and size of the head will directly affect the way the fly reacts in the water. ( I got a little loose with the scissors on this one… but it’ll fish)

trimmed up

Place your eyes. I use zap a gap gel to help hold mine in place. I have used Clear Cure Goo’s weightless dumbell eyes as well to add durability to the pattern… Any way that you like to attach your eyes will be fine here as long as you are not adding weight to the pattern such as lead eyes or bead chain..

eyes on

Using permanent markers color the pattern to mimic whatever you like…


Admire your handywork..

head on

painted up

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Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)


  1. Betty says:

    That is really nice, great SBS so easy to follow. Thank you very much for passing along your pattern.

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  2. John R says:

    Very nice. I’m going to tie some up for the snook and tarpon here in Southern Florida. The step by step photos are excellent.

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  3. Don Humphries says:

    Used Artic Fox Fur from Wapsi. Now I think I see my problem. The fox fur doesn’t seem to have enough body to trim the head of the fly. Next one I’ll use the fox tail as you specified.
    Really like the fly.

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