ties a small number of custom flies for anglers, which are available
in limited collections. Contact him at email@example.com or
call 978 314 6879 to ask about pattern availability. All custom flies
are personally tied by Dick—and true to the original recipe.
Order a few today if you are heading to the flats and want to arm
yourself with the best authentic flies available.
Dick posts fly profiles and recipes here from
time to time in the same format used in the new second addition
Bonefish Fly Patterns, 2nd Edition: Tying, Selecting, and Fishing
all the Best Bonefish Flies from Today's Best Tiers. These are
a few of his favorites. The book contains 197 of them.
Dick Brown design. Sample in photo was tied by
Dick on a size 6 Gamakatsu SL11-3H hook and measures horizontally 3
overall length. Weighted reverse-wing fly rides hook-point up.
Hook: Gamakatsu SL11-3H or Mustad 34007; sizes 4, 6
Thread: Orange Flat Waxed
Nylon or Monocord 3/0
Weight: 3/32″ or 1/8″ bead chain
or lead barbell, sized to achieve desired sink rate
Eyes: Two stalks
burnt 15 lb. or 20 lb. mono
Egg sack/underbody: Orange Aunt Lydia’s
sparkle yarn Mouthparts: Natural tan rabbit hair pulled from hide
Claws: Pair of silicone or rubber legs
Antenna: Two strands black Krystal
Body: Dub body with blended tan and pink Enrico Puglisi’s
Shrimp Dub; palmer in a waxed dubbing loop and pick out so orange underbody “shines” through.
Wing/carapace: Craft fur, then six to eight strands pearl or lime Krystal
Head/finish: Oversize orange thread, superglue, head cement
notes: Tie in mouthparts, claws, and antennae extra long so
they self-animate and wiggle even when the fly stops. Can vary dubbing
color choice among pink, tan, and olive to approximate local shrimp
SLF Saltwater Dub and Senyo’s Laser Dub from Hareline are also
very good mixes with good colors.
Location notes: The Bahamas, Los
Roques, the Seychelles, the Yucatan, Christmas Island
Fishing notes: Bump-strip, stop, let it wiggle, watch, and strip-strike.
Prey notes: Suggestive of most shrimp forms; choose size and color based on local
Anecdotes: I have been working for a long time on a design
that would wiggle enticingly to tease fish into striking, both when
stopped and stripped. Once the pattern started to work, the name was
kind of a no-brainer.
A Victor Trodella design. Sample in photo
was tied by Victor on a size 6 Gamakatsu SL11-3H hook and measures
horizontally 1 5/8″ in overall length. Unweighted fly rides hook-point
Hook: Gamakatsu SL11-3H; size 6
Thread: Clear monofilament thread,
Tail: Tan rabbit fur fibers plucked from hide, tied in with two
strands pink shrimp Krystal Flash Eyes: Small Spirit River black mono
eyes or burned mono eyes made from 20 lb. to 30 lb. mono
Puglisi’s Shrimp Dub (blend of tan and pink) applied as dubbing
(in a mono dubbing loop) and then picked out with a bodkin or Velcro-strip
brush to look fuzzy and trimmed to shape. Author’s Note:
EP Shrimp Dub has become very hard to find. Victor suggests substituting
the EP Shrimp Dub Brush if you can’t find the Shrimp Dub product,
which is the same dubbing pre-strung. He also likes the Wapsi SLF Saltware
and Sow Scud dubbing products as possible substitutes.
Tying notes: Victor applies the dubbing by doubling over the mono thread into a
mono dupping loop, waxing it and attaching the dubbing, and twirling
it into a dubbed “rope” prior to winding the “rope” onto
the shank. Then he picks out he dubbing and trims off any wild-looking
fibers. For a productive color alternative for fishing over grassy
flats, use barred dyed tan and olive rabbit fur tail, with a blend
of Puglisi’s Shrimp Dub in light olive and tan. The weight of
the Gamakatsu SL11-3H alone allows this fly to hover in skinny water
with almost neutral buoyancy, so avoid adding weight to this pattern.
Location notes: This fly has been extremely effective in skinny water
and has worked well in shallow flats at all locations, including Bahamas,
Los Roques, Yucatan, and Belize.
Fishing notes: Fish this fly in water
up to 18 inches deep and retrieve it slowly with very short strips
to keep it hovering in the water column just ahead of the fish. It
looks like escaping prey, and the fish get quite excited by the motion
of the materials and very slow looping drops during the retrieve. Author’s
note: I have fished this fly now for five years and it is a killer
pattern for tailing and cruising fish in thin water. It is my go-to
fly for spooky fish in skinny water.
Prey notes: The Ghost is meant
to be a general attractor pattern. The way bonefish hit it consistently
in so many different locations suggests that it imitates several different
prey. Author’s note: Suggests members of the common shrimp
(Penaeidae), snapping shrimp (Alpheidae), and mantis shrimp (Squillidae)
A Jaime Boyle/Dave Skok collaboration.
Sample in photo was tied by Dave Skok on a size 4 Tiemco 811S hook
and measures horizontally 2 3/8″ in overall length. Weighted
fly rides hook-point up.
Hook: Mustad 34007 or Tiemco 811S; size 2 or smaller
Thread: Pink Monocord
or Danville Flat Waxed Nylon 3/0
Eyes: Large gold bead chain or 5/32″ Real
Eyes (barbell eyes with a recessed cup at each end) with black-on-silver
decal eye pupils
Tail: Pearl Midge Flash (or pearl Krystal Flash),
tied long and relatively heavy
Body: Wound pearl Midge Flash (or pearl
Bill’s Body Braid or other flat braid)
Wing: Natural Kinky Fibre,
then several strands of root beer Midge Flash or Krystal Flash, all
Tying notes: Winding a strand of orange Krystal Flash onto
the nose of the fly to create a small highlight has proven effective
at times. Author’s note: Jaime’s original version of this
Gotcha-variant fly used pink thread, Krystal Flash for the tail and
wing, and Bill’s Body Braid for the body. The Dave Skok variant,
shown in the photo, uses Midge Flash instead of Krystal Flash and Body
Braid andthis version has been especially effective for me on both
tailing and cruising fish on sand flats. Location notes: The Bahamas,
the Yucatan, Los Roques, Christmas, Island, the Seychelles.
notes: Cast to tailers, strip, and twitch.
Prey notes: Small shrimp
Captain Jaime Boyle guides anglers on the waters of Martha’s
Vineyard and has over a dozen fly rod first-place trophies in the Martha’s
Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby on his and his clients’ walls.
Jaime won the Fly Rod Grand Slam division three times and guided angler
Mark Budreski to the same award in the fifty-fifth derby, and he holds
the derby fly rod record with a 16.38-pound albie. He is the creator
of several innovative flies, including the Vineyard Squid, Bonito Bunny,
and Red Can Squid. Dave Skok is a Boston-based fly tier, photographer,
and writer and a two-time winner of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped
Bass & Bluefish Derby. He has held the IGFA 6 lb. tippet record
for Atlantic bonito since 1994. Dave also created the Mushmouth and
Mega Mushy fly series, two of the most effective striped bass patterns
ever fished. His skill with rod, vise, pen, and camera has been featured
in over a dozen books, including Bob Veverka’s Innovative
Saltwater Flies and Rich Murphy’s Fly Fishing for Striped
Bass, and numerous