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Basic Everglades fly patterns, part one

lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
Over the years I'm frequently asked by anglers coming my way for a few patterns they can work up at home to bring with them on that first trip to Flamingo or Chokoloskee. Here's a small starter set - and we'll start shallow and work our way deeper.... Some parameters first... for my purposes you can do the majority of your fly fishing in my areas with only two rods - an 8wt with a floating line and a 10wt with a full Intermediate... Those wanting to tangle with big tarpon or other large species will need a third rod - a 12wt, also with an Intermediate line... Nothing hard and fast here - there's still at least ten different ways to catch any fish you find - so you'll always have the fun of using whatever you prefer... The thread used for all of these patterns is always Danville's flat waxed nylon in whatever color shown for brevity...All of my flies have a wire weedguard if I can figure out any way to employ it. Fishing the backcountry with flies that snag along mangrove jungle shorelines or other hazards.... gets old very quickly..

the Crystal Schminnow (my version of Norm Ziegler's famous pattern)

Hook: Mustad 34007 #6 up to #1
Eyes: small beadchain (or plastic or lead depending on depth desired)
Tail: Sparse amount of calftail in white, just forward of hookbend, then a few strands of pearl Flashabou, then white maribou over all.
Body: Medium to large pearl crystal chenille

My usual size for this is a #4 and it's meant for any situation where where small fry, glass minnows, or bay anchovies are working up shallow - and it's all we use for small tarpon (if we're not tossing popping bugs at them), 2-10lbs... In the fall when bay anchovies mature, a size #1 hook and a 3 to 4" pattern works well for everything feeding on them...

the Seaducer (Chico Fernandez)

Hook: Mustad 34007 #2- 1/0
Tail: six saddle hackles - three on a side splayed, tied in just forward of the hook bend with 8 to 10 strands of pearl Flashabou accent tied in on top of the tail and pulled down in between each side of the tail...
Body: three of those same saddles (wide, webby preferred) tied in by the butt with as much of the "fluff" left on each saddle as possible... then palmered forward for a "one color" Seaducer - otherwise, as shown in photo, two all white saddles, ending a bit less than 1/4" from the hook eye then a second color for the remaining head portion. We do these in fl green/ white, pink/ white, red/white, fl. yellow/ white - as well as the same variations with a yellow tail and body or even just an all grizzly version...

This is a suspending fly that works well when you're sight-fishing up shallow and can see your targets... It casts easily in any size, lands softly and will suspend in place any time you pause for a moment while stripping it..

the Whitewater Clouser (my own "guide's pattern")

Hook: Mustad 2/0
Eyes: largest beadchain (the same size you'll find with the pull cord on vertical blinds...)
Body: fl. orange thread (eyes are tied in with the orange then the thread is continued about 1/2" to form the "body". You then re-start in front of the eyes with fl. green thread to tie in the wing...
Wing: white bucktail tied in front of eyes, then 10 to 12 strands of pearl Flashabou with ends staggered on top of the bucktail, then fl. green or fl. yellow bucktail on top of the flash... Wing should be twice the overall length of the hook.

This guide's pattern is quick to tie and works well when we're "pounding the bushes" working mangrove jungle shorelines, downed trees, and other structure as well as across a current where schooled up fish (speckled trout, jacks, ladyfish, spanish mackeral), and others are holding. We're generally tight to structure and working the structure as opposed to fish we can see... My favorite for triple tail as big as ten pounds as well. Don't believe we've ever had a tarpon touch one... but this pattern might see more use each day than any other..

"Be a hero..... take a kid fishing"
Tight Lines
Bob LeMay
(954) 435-5666
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