Do not be intimidated by the name of this fly as
there are several ways of tying this pattern and NOT use epoxy.
This pattern was primarily a pattern used in the
North Eastern US as a small baitfish imitation and was and continues to be an
exceptional pattern to represent "Sand Eels". It is now used as a small baitfish/minnow
imitation in numerous locations around the world.
The original was tied using buck tail as the primary
material with the belly of the fly some sort of Mylar or similar material that
over wrapped the belly of the fly. The fly was then coated with epoxy, placed
on the drying turner and allowed to dry.
With all of the newer materials on the market,
some of them are replacing the buck tail or are mixed with the buck tail to give
added realism to the pattern. One of the better materials, in my opinion, is the
new DNA fibers such as the Powder Fish Fiber, Frosty Fish Fiber, Holo Chromosome
Flash and Holo Fusion. This can be used individually, mixed with other materials
or mixed together.
I generally tie the pattern with 6/0 white thread
as it tends to disappear when coated. A red band is placed directly behind the
head to simulate gills and the eyes are either painted or stick on eyes are used
and then coated with the Hard Head Fly Finish.
The pattern is generally tied in sizes 1 to 8 and
I prefer a long shank hook such as the Mustad 34011.
In lieu of using epoxy, I have started using the
Loon Hard Head Fly Finish and have had great results. I generally use the clear
but have started using the white pearl as the base coat and then adding a second
coat of the clear.
If you use the Loon Hard Head Fly Finish, you will
need to add two coats, if you do not want to place the fly on a turner or you
can add one thick coat and place the fly on a turner just like with an epoxy coating.
This pattern can represent just about any small
baitfish/minnow, depending on the coloration and size.
For the US, here
are some of the better color combinations:
All white with
All white with gold flash
Olive over white
of green over white
Various shades of blue over white
Olive over tan
Chartreuse over white
Tan over white
Pink over white
The above are general colorations and by adding
more colors with either natural or synthetic materials, a more natural imitation
can be achieved.
The style of tying this pattern does not limit itself
to just the "Salt" but warm and cold water tying as well.
Give this pattern
a try in whatever area you fish and see what happens.
If you would like to see the step by step instructions
for this pattern, follow this link: