It’s incredible how the same basic flies work for a variety of fish and locations. Often we as fly anglers tend to stick to what we know works. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, today, we are going to go against the grain. We step off the comfort of tradition and walk towards the unknown, a tube pattern saltwater fly for bonefish and permit.
Who doesn’t like Shrimp Scampi? Noooooobody…including bonefish and permit. This non-traditional, saltwater fly is a tube pattern that comes to us from Alex Belonga of straitsonthefly_customflies. This fly has all the fundamentals for an effective saltwater pattern. It looks and acts like any other effective saltwater pattern out there, and it just happens to be on a tube. We hope you enjoy it!
Tie Instructions and photos by Alex Belonga. If you’d like to see more of Alex’s flies or want to inquire about custom flies, you can find him on Instagram- @straitsonthefly_customflies or Facebook- @Yooperfly.
- 30mm brass US tube Skeena River Fy Supply (SRFS)
- 1.8mm tough tubing (SRFS)
- Mirage Flat tinsel (Semperfli)
- Nano silk 50d thread (Semperfli)
- Silver dubbing
- Natural American Opposum (SRFS)
- Krystal flash sunburst orange
- Orange nutria (SRFS)
- Shrimp eyes
- Hot pink boar bristles (SRFS)
- Intruder eyes
- Sand colored dubbing
- Orange marble fox (SRFS)
Step 1. Slide 1.8mm tubing through brass US tube, and melt a flange at both ends
Step 2. Lock in a butt section of mirage flat tinsel (be sure to leave several mm’s for your junction tubing to slide over when connecting hook.
Step 3. Dub some silver/grey dubbing (leave it long and scraggly).
Step 4a. Spin in a dubbing loop the American Opposum.
Step 4b. Palmer in dubbing loop of American Opposum and secure it in.
Step 5. Reverse tie in a few strands of sunburst orange krystal flash. Trim to your liking.
Step 6. Tie in Orange Nutria hair. Wrap hair about 180deg around the top of the tube, and be sure to tie in the length of the tube. Nutria is slippery, so tying it down the length of the tube and adding some super glue helps to secure it.
Step 7. Tie in your shrimp eyes.
Step 8. Tie in 2 hot pink boar bristles. Tie them in concave so they will fight the current and move around.
Step 9. Work your thread down the tube and tie in intruder eyes towards the end.
Step 10. Work thread back up and dub the body all the way down. Make sure to figure 8 around the intruder eyes and give a good scrubbing.
Step 11a. After the intruder eyes, reverse tie in some Orange Marble Fox or Finn Racoon.
Step 11b. Add some dubbing to your thread and wrap over your thread, then fold the wing, back and tie in front of the wing……..DO NOT tie over the wing. Create a thread damn in front. Even though it may stand up and look funny in the vice, it will give much more action in the water! Add some glue to your thread and whip finish behind the flange on the 1.8mm tube.
NOTE. Using the brass tube allows the fly to sink quickly to cruising fish and allows changing hooks for varying species while using the same fly.
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