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Adventures in Fly Tying... January 2011

Fishy's Bonefish Fly
Fly and Text by Joe Cornwall
Video Production by Jim Stuard


It seems fitting that we should start off this, our sixth season of free, downloadable fly tying videos and articles, with a brand new fly first seen in January 2011 at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show. A new season, a new fly, a new application of materials and new opportunities are all associated with this pattern.  That it came from the fertile imagination of Jay "Fishy" Fullum should come as no surprise.

Fishy Fullum retired from a career as a graphic designer and commercial artist some fifteen years ago and decided to devote himself to the sport of fishing and the art of fly tying.  He has a regular column in Fly Tyer magazine and is their "artist in residence."  Fishy is knows for his creative use of materials to generate a highly impressionistic result that is emminantly fishable.  His 2002 book Fishy's Favorite Flies (ISBN 0-8117-2616-9) is a favorite volume in the Fly Fish Ohio library and is a great catalyst to get the creative juices flowing if you're looking for fresh tying ideas.

The unique aspect of this pattern is its "double truck" bead chain eyes.  According to Fishy, the black bead chain is vital.  All crustaceans and most bottom dwellers that end up on a game fish's menu have black eyes or spots.  I got a 3-foot length at a local Ace hardware store for less than $2.  Tying a string of four eyes to act as stabilizing outriggers for the fly to sit properly on the bottom is the kind of simple genius that makes us all smack our foreheads and wonder "now why didn't I think of that?"  When this fly hits the bottom, it sits just like you see in the picture above.  Fishy suggests not moving the fly or moving the fly very little because the Flexi-Floss legs will provide all the action needed to trigger a take.

I've modified Fishy's fly in this video. The image above is a fly Fishy tied at the January show.  It features a thread body, Polar Fiber wing and Flexi-Floss legs, in addition to the four bead strip of chain.  I've added an overwrap of D-Rib, Jelly Cord or heavy monofilament over the thread body to provide a meatier, segmented appearance.  I have no idea if it will matter to the fish, as I've not had a chance to cast this fly into any water... yet.  I just liked the look of the translucent abdomen just a bit more. 

While I have absolutely no doubt this fly will take bonefish and redfish, my first thoughts were copper.  This fly has carp written all over it!  I'll have to get back to you with the results of my tests.  In the interim, tie a few for yourself and be sure to post pictures of your success on the Fly Fish Ohio Facebook Fan Page.


Hook: Saltwater size 6, 1XL ring eye
Thread: Pink or color to match bottom or natural forage

Eyes: Four black bead chain eyes in one strip

Body: Tying thread covered with D-Rib, Jelly Cord or monofilament (optional)

Wing: Polar Fiber in shrimp pink or color to match the bottom or local forage

Hackle: Flexi-Floss 1.5 to 2X hook length

Windows Media Video  QuickTime Video 


New High Definition - 720p!

High Definition Windows Media File



Fishy's Bonefish Fly (slightly modified).

Wrap a smooth underbase of tying thread.   Tie on the D-Rib or Jelly Cord, leaving plenty of room for the eyes, wing and hackle in front.  The body covers about 2/3 of the hook shank space.  Wrap the Jelly Cord over the thread base to form a nicely segmented, translucent body..

Tie is the strip of bead chain eyes with cross-wraps in front of the Jelly Cord body.  Cement the thread wraps for a durable fly.

Tie in a short wing of Polar Fiber and use a permanent marker to add bars or mottled shading if desired.

Cut 8 to 10 strands of Flexi-Floss to twice the length of the hook and tie in over the wing tie-in point using a "waist" of tying thread.  Build a neat thread head under the floss, whip finish and cement.

Fishy only tied one color at the show, bit I doubt he'll have a problem with trying new colors to match the environment or conditions of you local water.  Try orange, pink, taupe, olive and brown, but let your imagination take you to the right answer for your waters.




Tight lines and tropical waters...


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