Fly Tying

Patterns from Capt. Allen's Bench

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Hollow Pogy

This pattern is a variation on Bob Popovics’s classic Hollow Fleye, tied to emulate the body profile of the pogy (a.k.a. menhaden or bunker). The pogy is plentiful in North Carolina’s nearshore and inshore waters and I use this pattern to target redfish, trout, spanish mackerel, and many other fish that feed on pogies in the summer and fall. The reverse-tied bucktail gives the fly a good profile in the water, yet it’s still easy to cast with lighter weight rods. I tie this pattern in varying sizes from #4 to #2/0, depending on the fish I’m after and the time of year.

This pattern is very simply constructed from contrasting shades of bucktail, mylar flash, and peacock herl. You can add your favorite eyes or leave it clean for toothy fish. I like to use mono thread for durability and I finish of with a coat of CCG Hydro.

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The Rivet

This pattern, originally developed by Steve Kantner, is an excellent mullet imitation. I use this fly throughout the spring and fall for both trout and redfish. The Rivet is an excellent fly for working grass edges and around oyster bars. It lands softly and pushes a decent wake when retrieved. One of the key elements of this fly is it’s overall shape. The thick head and thin tail create a natural zig-zag pattern in the retrieve with proper technique, which can be deadly in the right conditions.

This is a fairly complex fly, but it’s worth the effort. It is constructed from marabou, wide hackle, mylar flash, flash brush, and deer hair. You can control the amount of buoyancy the fly has by how tightly you pack the deer hair. I tend to spin mine a little loose so that they float “in” the surface, rather than on the surface of the water.

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EP Baitfish Fly

This fly is a great all purpose baitfish fly for trout, redfish, ladyfish, and any other fish you might target inshore or nearshore. Because of the light wire hook, this fly tends to suspend a foot or so down in the water column, making it an excellent pattern to use around structure like docks, oyster bars, and jetties.

This is a simple fly to tie using EP fibers and mylar flash, as long as you remember that less is more when you use EP Fibers. Make sure to keep the fly sparse so that the weight of the hook is enough to keep the fly upright in the water.

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Fur Gurgler

This pattern is a take off on Alex Boehm’s gurgler pattern. Its designed to push water while floating relatively low. When I tie this pattern, I use a Gamakatsu B10s hook which has a large hook gap. The combination of the way this fly floats with the large gap of the B10s generally results in solid hookups, even with the low slung mouth of a redfish. This an excellent topwater pattern and I’ve taken everything from Smallmouth Bass to Tarpon on the Fur Gurgler.

This fly is constructed with bunny strips, marabou, flash brush, and 2-6mm craft foam. I like thicker craft foam to help counteract the weight of waterlogged bunny strip and I use mono thread and a touch of CCG Hydro for durability. Add a mono post weed guard for fishing around structure or a double loop mono weed guard for fishing in grass.

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Craft Fur Shrimp

This pattern is an adaptation of Tim Borski’s Butterfly. Its an excellent shallow water fly. It lands softly, is very easy to cast, and is very easy to tie. It works in all sorts of conditions and it can be tied weighted or unweighted in various sizes depending on the size shrimp you are attempting to emulate. This is a great pattern for low tide “crawlers”.

This is a simple pattern, constructed of craft fur, wide hackle, and mylar flash. If you choose to weight the fly, use a length of lead wire along the bottom of the hook shank to make sure the fly remains upright in the water.

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Copperhead Crabbit

The Copperhead Crabbit is my go-to tailing redfish fly. It imitates the fiddler crabs that redfish feed on when they tail on flooded spartina flats during spring tides each summer. It has all of the elements I look for in a crab fly; decent weight, castability, splayed claws, and movement even when the fly is resting on the bottom. The gold mylar makes for great visibility, even in thick grass or dirty water.

This pattern is constructed from gold mylar tubbing, bunny strip, wide hackle, and lead eyes. I prefer a heavy wire hook and large lead eyes to get the fly down fast. You can use a lighter wire hook and bead chain eyes in shallower water. I prefer a single mono post weed guard for flooded spartina grass.

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