Flies

The flies shown below are patterns I tie and use regularly.  You’ll find them discussed throughout this website.  To view the tying steps or tying videos, click on the fly name or the photo. 

Chrome Minnow

Target Species: Striped Bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, speckled trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel

The Chrome Minnow is an extremely flashy deep diving baitfish pattern tied Clouser-style with medium stainless steel bead chain eyes on a #2 Eagle Claw or Mustad 60-degree jig hook.  The Chrome Minnow is a moderately heavy fly, suitable for 6-8wt. tackle.  It’s a great pattern for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, stripers, white bass, speckled trout, and many other fresh/saltwater species.  The Chrome Minnow is one of the best streamer patterns I have ever used.

Smartt’s Deadhead Minnow

Target Species: Striped Bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, speckled trout, redfish

The Deadhead Minnow is a large streamer pattern that emulates a stunned or slow-moving baitfish. It is tied on a 1/0 to #2 Mustad C70S, a Mustad Tarpon hook, or any other comparable short-shank wide-gape hook (Gamakatsu Finesse hook also works well).  The best colors I have found are grey/white with chrome flash, or solid chartreuse with pearl flash. The Deadhead Minnow has a flexible skin over the head that pushes a lot of water.  It can be fished with either a floating or full sinking line and is a great fly for working slowly over structure or dead-drifting in the current. The Deadhead Minnow sinks slowly and has a terrific undulating action that many gamefish find irresistible.

 

Smartt’s Glass Minnow

Target Species: Striped bass, white bass, speckled trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, bonito

Smartt’s Glass Minnow is a small streamer pattern that is a good choice for predators feeding on glass minnows or other small translucent baitfish. It is tied on a #2 to #6 Mustad 34007 Z hook and can be cast on 4wt. to 8wt. tackle. This fly is great for stripers or white bass feeding at the surface, or for saltwater fish (mackerel, bonito) targeting bay anchovies along the surf, bayfront, and nearshore waters. It also can be effective on the flats when redfish are feeding on small minnows. I tie the Glass Minnow in grey/pearl and rootbeer/pearl.

 

Smartt’s Shrimp

Target Species: Redfish

The Smartt’s Shrimp has become my staple flats fly. It emulates a small shrimp or crab and redfish love it.  It is especiall effective in the Spring, when the flats are full of small juvenile shrimp.  Smartt’s Shrimp is easy to cast, lands lightly and is fairly weedless.  I tie it on a #2 to #4 Mustad 340011 Z hook. I have tied this fly in many different colors but I keep coming back to the natural rootbeer shade.

 

Chin Slinky

Target Species: Black drum, sheephead, carp

The Chin Slinky was originally developed for catching black drum, and it does a great job of that. But it has also works great on sheephead and carp. The Chin Slinky is tied on a #6 Gamakatsu SL-45 hook and can be cast on 5wt. to 8wt. tackle. This fly is best fished with slow tugs and twitches on the bottom. Tip- When targeting black drum, the key is to present the fly directly off the front of the drum’s nose… where he is rooting.

 

Canyon Carp Fly

Target Species: Carp

The Canyon Carp fly was developed for catching carp over rock or gravel bottoms. It is tied on a #6 Gamakatsu SL-45 hook and can be cast on 5wt. to 8wt. tackle. This fly has been a solid producer of carp on Canyon Lake and the Highland Lakes here in central Texas.