Fly of the Month – Butterknife of Justice

Fly of the Month by Paul Beel: J. Stockard Pro Team Leader and Owner of FrankenFly

The Butterknife of Justice was designed for largemouth bass. I have always had an interest in fishing for largemouth bass and even since I began fly fishing, I have never lost that interest. I just use flies now instead of lures. This is the reason I founded the Bucket Mouth League, a loosely based organization that promotes catching largemouth bass on the fly. To me this is all about fun. Isn’t that what fly fishing is all about?

What is great, is that I can design and tie large articulated flies and use them to catch largemouth bass. However, the size of the Butterknife of Justice is the same size as many of the articulated streamers that you might have heard of that are used for large brown trout as well. Even though I haven’t tested it on brown trout yet, I am positive it will be very effective at catching them as well because the profile and action.

When I designed this fly, I wanted the front of the fly to push water, while having the back of the fly be extremely light. What happens when you tie an articulated streamer in this way, is that it will allow some terrific action. With the front pushing water, the back end will wag around nicely. Especially when striped and paused, because the bulk of the front will stop abruptly, while the back will flutter and whip around like crazy. This will definitely catch the eye of the fish!

I needed to use a specific material in the front of the fly that I knew would be able to push water. This brings me to a brand new material that I created by blending a specific synthetic material with the long, strong, and soft wool of Teeswater Sheep. I call it Werewolf Hair. This new material has a variety of uses including tails, wings, bodies, heads, etc. It is approximately 6 to 8 inches in length. It provided me with the perfect material to build the head I needed to push water while maintaining a good profile.

When fishing this fly, you will need to use a 250 to 300 grain sinking line to get the fly down in the water column. You could also add some lead to the front hook.

Recipe:

Thread: Danville 140
Back Hook: Partridge Attitude Streamer – size 1
Bucktail
Flashabou
Ice Dub
Hen Saddle – 2 feathers
Grizzly Flutter Legs

Connection wire: Beadalon 19 strand
3D Beads – 2

Front Hook: Partridge Universal Predator X – size 1/0
Marabou Blood Quills
Hen Saddle – 2 feathers
Ice Dub
Werewolf Hair
Adhesive Eyes

Tying Instructions:

  1. Start with the back hook and tie in bucktail near the barb.
  2. Then take about 15 strands of Flashabou and tie in the middle and double over, going over the top of the bucktail.
  3. Pick out two longer hen saddle feathers and place them on top of each other. Tie them on top of the hook shank and make sure they extend up and over the Flashabou and bucktail.
  4. Take some Ice Dub and dub it on some thread and begin wrapping around the shank. Take a clump of Ice Dub and tie down and fold over. So it flares out around the shank as well. Do this several times working your way down the shank. Stop about a quarter of an inch before the eye of the hook.
  5. Take a Blood Quill Marabou plume and cut the middle tip off it. Place it over the shank and around it and then tie it down. It should flow back over the Ice Dub body.
  6. Tie in two rubber legs on each side and whip finish. I use Krazy Glue to seal the thread head.
  7. Now use your front hook and put it in the vise. Take the Beadalon wire and tie down one side of that on top of the hook shank leaving room on top for the other end of the wire.
  8. Take two 3D beads and put them over the end of the wire, then take the back end of the fly you just finished and put the wire through the eye of the hook. Now hold down the end of the wire on top of the hook shank right next to the other end that you already tied down. This will make your connection between the two hooks.
  9. Next step is take too Blood Quill Marabou plums and tie them on each side of the hook shank covering the connection wire and beads.
  10. Take a clump of Ice Dub and dub it on the thread this time and wrap a few times. Not going too far away from the marabou.
  11. Pick out two more longer hen saddle feathers and place them on top of each other like you did before. Tie them in the same way, so they extend up on over the connection and part of the back hook.
  12. Tie in more Ice Dub like you did on the back of the hook. Stopping about ¾ of the way down the shank. Leaving room to tie in Werewolf Hair.
  13. Grab some Werewolf Hair, possibly a clump that is 1 inch in width. It is easy to over do it with Werewolf Hair, so you don’t need too much. You won’t need the full length, but you will be tying it in the middle and folding it over on the top and bottom of the shank to begin to form the head. Measure it first by placing the ends just past the bend of the front hook. Fold it over in your hand into the same position just past the bend of the front hook and clip it off there. Take that bundle and pull the ends out so they are uneven. This will make it taper easier when you tie it in.
  14. Now tie in the first bundle in the middle of the bundle on top of the hook shank. Don’t fold it over yet. Make another bundle using the same process and tie it on the bottom of the hook shank. Now take both bundles and fold them back over themselves and tie them down. You can wrap thread about the bundles to help hold them back.
  15. Now do the exact same thing with this one being near the hook eye. Make two bundles and tie them in the same way on the top and bottom. This time, do not wrap over them to hold them down, just build a thread damn in front of the Werewolf Hair to hold them back.
  16. Whip finish and use Krazy Glue or head cement over the thread.
  17. Finally, take your adhesive eyes, apply Gel style of Super Glue to the back of them and set them in place. I found the Gel Loctite works well for me. The Gel style works better at holding the eyes on for a longer period of time then regular super glue.
  18. Finished.

11 thoughts on “Fly of the Month – Butterknife of Justice

  1. Robert Elliott

    Looks like a real winner for giant bass that have a taste for bluegills/sunfish. Thanks for the design/materials/presentation insights.

    Reply
  2. Jon S.

    Wow, the creativity of these flies is top notch!

    The patience and precision that go into these…I’m not sure I have it in me to do it. Maybe I’ll give it a shot this summer.

    Reply

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