Casey Smartt's Fly Fishing, Photography, & Outdoor Stuff


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7 Responses to “Flies”

  1. Chris


    How do you create the bodies for the orange shrimp patterns in the picture above? Thanks.

    • caseysmartt

      Hello Chris.

      The bodies on those shrimp flies are made by wrapping the hook shank with colored braided mylar. I don’t recall the exact brand I used, but most fly shops carry the braided mylar. It is a slender limp material (not the braided tubing).

      After the shank is wrapped with braid, it is then coated with Aleene’s Fabric Fusion (a non-toxic waterbased polyurethane gel). and placed on a turner for an hour. You can forgo the turner if you use a light coat of Aleene’s.

      The Aleene’s is great stuff- no smell, no mess, no fumes, easy cleanup. It is a good alternative to 2-part epoxy. You can get Aleene’s in the sewing section of Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s.

  2. Scott Kelley


    I have contacted you before and you are very helpful. I was wondering the steps for tying the Deadhead Minnow – do you use softex with glitter? Marine glue for the eyes? etc. Also what is your favorite setup for big speckled trout?

    • caseysmartt

      Hello Scott. I am working on the tying instructions for the Deadhead Minnow. The body is formed by inserting a mixture of craft fur and fine flash material in a dubbing loop and wrapping it around the hook shank. This creates as round cigar-shaped profile. The head is then coated with a skin of Tulip Glitter Fabric Paint. Instructions for completing the head were filmed at this year’s FFF Conclave in New Braunfels. The video is here:

      As far as big trout go, when I catch one I’ll let you know! Ha. I guess the best answer depends on where you are fishing and how deep. For knee to waist deep water, throwing at potholes, guts, etc… I like an 8wt. rod with an intermediate line and some sort of large baitfish pattern, usually a slow-sinker with plenty of fluid action. The Deadhead in solid chart. is a great fly for this. The action of the Deadhead is similar to a Corky which is a slow moving nearly neutrally buoyant lure. This means you can poke and twitch it along in an enticing retrieve.

      I have seen some very large trout caught on small Seaducers. Also, I have caught a number of good trout (in the surf) on Chrome Clousers.

      My pick, overall, are beefy baitfish patterns. Productive colors seem to be in line with what is the norm for TX Coast- Chart/white, Pink/white, Grey/silver, Tan/gold.


  3. Scott Kelley

    If the body is hollow – what are you dubbing around to get it like that?

    • caseysmartt


      By “hollow” I mean the fabric paint skin doesn’t saturate through the body fibers, it’s just on the outside. So, the head has a hollow feel and water can flow freely in and out of it. There is a matrix of craft fur fibers below the skin, so technically it is not truly hollow. But there is a lot of air space in and around the fibers under the skin.

      In most flies where an adhesive is applied to the head (surf candies, siliclone, etc…), the adhesive flows through the fibers all the way to the hook shank and the head is hard or solid, not “hollow.”


  4. Chris

    Please teach us how to make those killer glass minnows. I know a spot the would be deadly on Tarpon.

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