Fly of the Month August 2021

Guess Blogger and Tyer: Jon Bates, Pennsylvania

The Hi-Vis Lite is my slimmed down version of the Hi-Vis Shiner from Nomad Anglers. I came across this pattern 2-3 years ago and it has become my favorite modern streamer for Smallmouth. The pattern only uses 2 materials and is very low on the difficulty scale for tying. I have tied these for many different species in both freshwater and salt.

Materials:
Hook: Partridge Attitude Extra sizes 4 thru 3/0 or BGH Big Game Hunter Hook
Thread: Danville 140 Denier Black
Tail: Craft Fur
Body: Ripple Ice Hair in Pearl
Eyes: Flymen Living Eyes 3D
UV: Solarez Bone Dry

Tying Instructions:

After attaching your thread to the shank start off by reverse tying a sparse amount of craft fur (1½-2x the length of the shank) and tie over the material with the thread and give it a touch of super glue for durability.
Advance your thread to the center of the shank and repeat the step this time the craft fur should end halfway to the tip of the last stack of craft fur.
Take a very sparse stack of Ripple Ice Hair and hand stack the tips. I tie the RIH in 60/40 for the first stack, before folding the material back repeat the step again on the bottom of the hook shank then reverse both stacks working the RIH with your fingers then brush it out with a comb.
Move your thread to the eye and again stack the RIH on top and bottom this time stacking it 50/50. After securing the material whip finish or super glue your thread and trim the thread off. After trimming the thread work the material again with your fingers then a comb or brush.
Add your eyes. At this point you can use markers to add color then coat your eyes and head with Solarez Bone Dry.
I shape the body by brushing the Hair out and trim with scissors. Until you do it a few times be careful to trim very little and work your way down to the desired taper and you may need to remark your color after you trim the fly.

4 Comments

  1. Nice! These are the streamer shape I tie on first. Your technique is very simple but makes for a better, chubbier little fish…I’ll try it! I can see I have to throw out some of my older stuff. : )

  2. I’m 54 years old. I have been fresh & salt water fishing since I can remember(canals,lakes, Everglades & Okeechobee. Gulf of Mexico from Steinhatchee around & throughout the FL. Keys up into south GA. Atlantic Ocean side. I have never thrown my first fly yet. I live on a freshwater lake with assorted panfish from bream,bluegill,red ear sunfish,black crappie,large & smallmouth bass and snook.
    I am going to Montana in October to hunt & fish. I can try to develop a technique B4 I go.
    Any advice for a beginner would be appreciated

    Walter

    1. Hi Walter,

      There are so many anglers who read this forum who’d have words of wisdom for you. From myself, first, welcome to the dream…it’s likely you’ll never be able to think of anything else but fly fishing for the rest of your days. Your quarry in Montana will be various species of (hopefully large, probably wily as all getout) trout, although if you tie into a whitefish, it’s still an accomplishment. I hope you’ll get onto moving water (streams) and I hope you’ll do some wading; to my mind, playing the nuances of currents from standing in it is one of the great joys of fly fishing.

      A lot of guys will recommend you hire a guide, but for all I know you’ll be in good local hands already. Some folks (like me) like to kinda wing it in self-reliant style…although I’ve heard all the reasons why guides are the path of most anglers visiting a new place. Fly shops will have plenty of advice on water, flies, times of day, local “hoot owl” rules if any, etc..

      With luck you’ll find some clear water, and some impressive rainbows, cutthroats, browns. The first thrill will be in fooling them; the next in hooking some, and then there’s the trying to bring one to net. Enjoy it all, but if you fool smart fish it’s already a good day.

      You’ll get tons of gear recommendations here…personally I’d say keep it simple — the classic 9-foot 5-weight rod and line would be the “does it all” rig, with a floating line, which would let you fish anywhere from on the surface to maybe 8 feet down depending on the water…but local voices will help you home in on finer details too. Let me stress the “keep it simple” aspect of rigging your offering. For max enjoyment in my humble opinion there’s nothing nicer than a single fly on the leader…but then I always did hate spending my stream time untangling stuff.

      Getting technique in advance…smooth basic cast, maybe learning a roll cast, and learning about “line mending” (which has nothing whatever to do with repairing damage to the line) would be the primary foci. I would not worry too much about trying to get big distances with a cast – 50 can serve an angler well, and so just being within 50 feet of the water you need to reach becomes the trick.

      Again there are hundreds of expert folks on this forum who would have terrific advice, including some with regional advice for that time of year. But if you want to converse more, my first name at my last name dot com is an easy way to reach me and I’ll gladly shoot the breeze about fishing. I have never professed to be an expert because fly fishing always shows me how much more I have yet to learn. But I enjoy it. Would love to hear some of your stories too.

      Again Walter, welcome to fly fishing; you’re gonna love it.

      – Mike

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