Published Jan 1. 2001 - 15 years ago

Smelt

The "king of baitfish", the American Smelt is the inspiration for the vast majority of New England Streamer patterns. Though there are a number of smelt species throughout the world, it's the Atlantic Rainbow Smelt that populates New England's waters, and is the one most-commonly immitated.

Introduction

This feature is part of a series of articles being created as a group effort by members of the Streamer List to provide some background information on the species of forage fish we most commonly try to immitate with streamer patterns. Many thanks to the list members who contributed patterns and other information! If you'd like to include one of your favorite smelt patterns to this feature, we'd be pleased to include it.

American Smelt (Osmerus Mordax)

The "king of baitfish", the American Smelt is the inspiration for the vast majority of New England Streamer patterns. Though there are a number of smelt species throughout the world, it's the Atlantic Rainbow Smelt that populates New England's waters, and is the one most-commonly immitated. At some point, I'll write up a more complete description of the smelt, it's range and habitat, and other facts as was done for the other forage fish features in this series, but for now.....On to the patterns!

Pattern Listing


Barnes Special

Bob Skehan

THREAD red
HOOK Mustad 94720, size 2-10
TAIL a pair of jungle cock body feathers
BODY flat silver mylar tinsel
RIB fine oval silver tinsel
WING 2 yellow saddle hackles flanked by a pair of grizzly saddle hackles
COLLAR white saddle hackle, tied back

Big Burnt Lake Smelt

Scott Daskiewich

THREAD black
HOOK Mustad 94720 size 2-4
BODY White micro-chenille
UNDERWING Brown dyed fox squirrel tail over white bucktail
WING Layers from body upward:
  1. Mixed blend of red, yellow, blue, and lavender bucktail -thickest layer
  2. Chartreuse angel hair - finest layer
  3. Mixed black and green bucktail
SHOULDER Natural hen
CHEEK Jungle cock

Blue Smelt #1

Stan Jakubaszek

HEAD black
TAIL Red hackle barbules
BODY Flat silver tinsel
THROAT Red hackle barbules
WING White bucktail w/blue bucktail over
TOPPING 5-6 strands peacock herl
CHEEK Jungle cock

Blue Smelt #2

Stan Jakubaszek

HEAD black
TAIL red hackle fibers
BODY embossed gold tinsel
THROAT white bucktail
WING blue mallard, tied flat

Cerise Fire

Stan Jakubaszek

HEAD Metallic lavender
TAIL Hot pink hackle
RIB Silver twist
BODY Embossed copper
THROAT Fluorescent cerise goose barbs
UNDERWING Peacock herl
WING fl. Cerise, hot pink, purple married strips goose
SHOULDER GP neck feathers

Chemquasibamticook Smelt

Lindsey Grandison

TAG flat silver tinsel
BODY white floss
RIB medium flat silver tinsel
THROAT beneath the shank are a few strand of white bucktail the length ofhook, beneath this are lavender hackle fibers
WING each wing isconstructed of a lavender, a grizzly and a blue dun saddle hackle (frominner to outer wing surface)
SHOULDER gray mallard feather
CHEEK jungle cock
COMMENT Named after the lake in Maine. The lake is also called RossLake. I tied this pattern based on its beauty. It appears subtle andelegant. I was also impressed by the name and can’t wait for the day whensomeone asks me what I am using.
Originator and Pattern Source: Originated by Rick Southgate jr. "SmeltFly Patterns" by Donald A. Wilson. Frank Amato Publications, Inc.,Portland Oregon, 1996

Chesuncook Smelt

Lindsey Grandison

BODY Yellow floss
RIB Flat silver tinsel
THROAT beneath the shank are a few strand of yellow bucktail the lengthof hook, beneath this are a few strand of white bucktail the length of thehook
UNDERWING four or five strands of peacock herl
WING each wing isconstructed of two green saddle hackles
CHEEK mallard flank feather dyedyellow
COMMENTS Named after Chesuncook Lake in Maine. In the reference bookthere is a typographical error in the description of the throat. I havegiven the construction derived from the picture of the fly.
Originator and Pattern Source: Originator unidentified. "Smelt FlyPatterns" by Donald A. Wilson. Frank Amato Publications, Inc., PortlandOregon, 1996

Daisey Mae

Lindsey Grandison

THREAD black
TAIL red wool tied short
BODY flat silver tinsel
WING 2 light green saddle hackles flanked by two brown saddle hackles, over which are 4 strands of peacock herl
THROAT long white bucktail, then a shorter bunch of yellow calftail
SHOULDERS brown-edged black and tan feathers from the back neck of a cock ringneck pheasant
COMMENT originated by G. Alden MacDonald for Moosehead Lake

Flagg's Smelt

Stan Jakubaszek

HEAD white
TAIL red calf tail
BODY braided mylar tubing
THROAT sparse white bucktail
WING blue bucktail, peacock herl, mallard flannk feather tied flat
CHEEKS jungle cock

Golden Red

Lindsey Grandison

BODY embossed green tinsel
RIB medium oval silver tinsel
THROAT beneath the shank are a few strand of white bucktail the length ofhook, beneath this are a few strand of orange bucktail
UNDERWING orange bucktail - sparse
WING each wing is constructed of a red grizzlyand a gray saddle hackle (from inner to outer wing surface)
TOPPING golden pheasant crest feather over entire wing
CHEEK jungle cock
COMMENT As noted by Wilson this fly was originally designed as adisplay fly but was subsequently found to be a good fish catcher.

Green Beauty

Stan Jakubaszek

BODY Orange floss
TAG flat silver tinsel
RIB flat silver tinsel
THROAT white bucktail
WING olive green saddle hackles over peacock herl
SHOULDER green mallard flank
CHEEK jungle cock

Helter Smelter

Emmett Johnson

TAIL Teal feather
TAG & RIB Small silver oval tinsel
BODY Large flat silver tinsel
THROAT Red schlappen
UNDERWING Peacock herl
WING(3 PARTS) Goat hair, black saltwater bucktail, and Pintail (center) feather.
EYES Prizm eye

Ice Out

Lindsey Grandison

BODY Embossed copper tinsel
RIB Copper wire
THROAT White bucktail
UNDERWING Pink bucktail - sparse
WING Native grizzly ginger saddle hackle
SHOULDER Wood duck flank feather
CHEEK Jungle cock
COMMENT An early season pattern as its name suggests.

Jane Craig

Chris DelPlato

HEAD Black
BODY Medium flat silver tinsel
THROAT Small bunch of white hackle fibers
WING Six white saddle hackles
TOPPING Seven or eight strands of bright green peacock herl, as long asthe wing
CHEEKS Jungle cock
COMMENTS Originated by Herb Welch around 1923. Named after a popular Vaudevilleactress of the era. Like many of Welch's flies, it has a simple, yetelegant look with all the necessary ingredients required for effectiveness- white hackle, silver flash, dark back and prominent eye. A yellowversion (Yellow Jane Craig) was also created for increased visibility onovercast days or in off-colored water. In smaller, casting sizes of thisfly, I prefer to take the thin herl that is often attached to peacockswords due to its vivid coloration and slimmer width.

Jerry's Smelt Variant

Bob Skehan

HOOK Mustad 94720, size 6
THREAD red
TAIL red hackle fibers
BODY pearl EZ-Body braid, secured front and back with red thread
THROAT red hackle fibers
WING sparse red bucktail, over which is a pintail feather tied flat
EYES Prismatic Stick-ons
COMMENTS Jerry's Smelt is actually a variation of Joe's smelt, the only difference being the use of pearl myar tubing as the body instead of silver mylar tubing as Joe's smelt originally called for. My version uses pearl EZ-Body braid, includes a sparse underwing of red bucktail, and uses red thread for the head. Both of the patterns mentioned earlier have black heads. To secure the prismatic stick on eyes and fill the gaps caused by using these eyes, the head was finished with 5 minute epoxy to a nice round shape.

JJ's Smelt

Emmett Johnson

TAIL Mandarin wood duck
TAG & RIB Small oval silver tinsel
BODY Large flat silver tinsel
WING (3 PARTS) Goat hair, Black saltwater bucktail, and Peacock herl
CHEEK Jungle cock

Lavender And Lace

Stan Jakubaszek

HOOK Alcott
TAG Silver holographic tinsel
TAIL Claret GP w/ Fl. Cerise goose veiling
BUTT Gold holographic tinsel
RIB Embossed and silver holographic tinsel
BODY purple floss
BELLY Pearl Krystal Flash and Pink bucktail
UNDERWING Lavender Krystal Flash w/ Pink ostrich herl over
WING White and Lavender hackle
SHOULDER Fl. Cerise mallard
CHEEK JC
TOPPING Silver holographic tinsel
GILL Ht. Pink goose

Magic Marabou Smelt

Stephen Delaney

HOOK Mustad 3665A size 2
THREAD 8/0 white Uni-Thread
BODY Medium silver holographic tinsel
WING White marabou, pearlescent flashabou, sparse silver krystal flash, and peacock herl
SHOULDERS Teal flank
THROAT Red marabou
EYES Small holographic stick-on eyes

Martinek Golden Smelt

Robb Nicewonger

HOOK Mike Martinek, 6XL #1
TAIL Grizzly hackle tips
UNDERBODY Silver tinsel
BODY Pearlescent EZ-Body braid secured front and back with red thread.
THROAT Red calf tail
WING Black Bear over yellow/tan bucktail, over white bucktail
HEAD Black with mylar eye

Memphramagog Smelt

Lindsey Grandison

TAIL a section of barred wood duck or mandarin duck body feather
BODY medium flat silver tinsel
RIB narrow oval silver tinsel
THROAT beneath the shank are a few strand of white bucktail extendingbeyond the length of hook, beneath this is a small section of red swan orgoose wing feather nearly as long as the bucktail
WING a small bunch ofwhite bucktail over which is a small bunch of yellow bucktail over whichis a small bunch of lavender bucktail
TOPPING five or six strands ofpeacock herl as long as the wing
SHOULDER gray mallard feather
COMMENT Named after Memphramagog Lake in Quebec, Canada. From thecomments in Bates it is suggested that this fly originated as the GovernorAiken, a former governor and senator from Vermont. Although not widelyused in Vermont it became popular in the lake region of Canada that borderon Vermont. The Governor Aiken evolved into this current version whichincludes yellow in the wing and a mallard feather as a shoulder. Bothare considered to very accurately imitate the coloration of smelt.

Moondog Smelt

Emmett Johnson

TAIL Silver monkey
TAG A& RIB Small oval copper tinsel
BODY Medium flat copper tinsel
THROAT White saltwater bucktail
UNDERWING Peacock herl
WING 2 yellow rooster hackles flanked by 2 Hoffman Red Dyed Variant hackles
SHOULDER Wood duck
CHEEK Jungle cock

Orange Sunshine

Lindsey Grandison

HEAD orange tying thread
BODY flat gold tinsel
RIB fine oval gold tinsel
THROAT beneath the shank are a few strand of white bucktail the length ofhook, beneath this are a few strand of yellow bucktail shorter in length
UNDERWING two strands of peacock herl
WING each wing is constructed of anorange and a wide grizzly saddle hackle (from inner to outer wingsurface)
SHOULDER wooduck or mandarin duck breast feather
CHEEKS junglecock
COMMENT Recommended as an excellent fall pattern.

Pheasant Ghost

Stan Jakubaszek

TAIL GP crest w/ scarlet goose fibers over
BODY scarlet floss
RIB flat gold tinsel
BELLY sparse white bucktail w/ pearl Krystal flash
THROAT red hackle
UNDERWING GP crest w/ pearl Krystal flash
WING lt gray and olive hackles
SHOULDER ringneck pheasant rump feather

Pintail Smelt

Bob Petti

HOOK Daiichi 2370 DickTalleur, #2
BODY Flat Silver Tinsel
BELLY White bucktail then red hackle barbules
WING Holographic Silver Angel Hair, Pink Bucktail and Peacock Krystal Flash
TOPPING Pintail "spear"feather
HEAD Black with painted eyes

Sandbar Smelt

Lindsey Grandison

TAG three turns of flat silver tinsel
BODY orange floss
RIB medium flat silver tinsel
UNDERWING beneath the shank are a few strand of pale yellow impala(calftail) extending beyond the hook point, beneath this are a few strandof white bucktail equal in length
THROAT white schlappen with lightyellow hackle outside. The light yellow hackle is also added to the top of the hook shank.
UNDERWING four to six bronze strands of peacock herlthat extend one-half inch beyond the hook
WING each wing is constructed of two white and one golden green saddle hackle (from inner to outer wing surface)
SHOULDER lemon woodduck flank feather
CHEEKS jungle cock
COMMENT Named for the sandbar at Newfound Lake, New Hampshire.
Originator and Pattern Source:
Originator unidentified.
"Streamer FlyTying and Fishing" by Joseph D. Bates Jr. The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, PA. 1966. Also given in "Smelt Fly Patterns" by Donald A.Wilson. Frank Amato Publications, Inc., Portland Oregon, 1996

Silver Smelt

Chris DelPlato

BODY Silver tinsel (original tied with oval tinsel)
WING 4 light grey saddle hackles
THROAT Red hackle barbules
HEAD Silver
EYE Black with white pupil and red center
COMMENTS Originated by Ora Smith, a regional commercial tyer from Keene, NH.

Steve's Smelt

Stephen Delaney

HOOK Mustad 3665A size 2
THREAD 8/0 Black Uni-Thread
BODY Medium flat silver tinsel
RIB Small oval silver tinsel
WING Two purple fl. pink hackles, with a light blue saddle hackle on each side
SHOULDERS Blue-dyed guinea fowl
THROAT White bucktail and a short bit of red hackle barbules

Winnipesaukee Smelt

Chris DelPlato

BODY Flat silver tinsel, double wrapped
WING First Layer - sparse white bucktail

Second Layer - 3 or 4 strands of thin peacock herl

Third Layer - sparse orchid bucktail

Fourth Layer - A single white marabou plume, tied in flat aslong as the bucktail.

Top Layer - 2 or 3 natural black silver pheasant crest curving down over and as long wing.

HEAD Pearlescent lacquer with black pupil.
COMMENTS Originated by Jim Warner in 1957 when he owned his Sportsmen's Center in Wolfboro, NH. According to Jim, it should be tied with a marabou plume having little or no center quill and the eyes should be built up withclear and pearlescent lacquer to give a 'bulging' look.

Winni Pinni

Bob Skehan

HOOK size 6 or 8 XL
HEAD black
TAIL two golden pheasant crest feathers, curving upwardq
BODY flat silver tinsel with pearl tinsel over it.
THROAT red impala (I used calf tail) 1/3 length of hook
WING Small bunch of bright pink bucktail with four blue-gray badger hackles over it
COMMENT Originated by Mike Martinek for use in the Merrymeeting River and Lake Winnipesaukee waters of New Hampshire in the late 1960's.

Comments

hi,i am looking to gett the pattern for a fly called 88.....does any one know it?if so please let me know...tyvm e1......

Add new comment

Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.