Martin's Mundane Sand Eel
Published Feb 9th 2012
Sand eels and other long, thin baitfish are high on the menu for a lot of saltwater predators.
I love flatwing flies and have done so ever since reading Ken Abrames' books Striper Moon and A Perfect Fish, and what we need here lends itself very nicely to this tying style.
I know that a flatwing is no novelty, and that these flies have been used for ages in many parts of the world, but many tiers haven't opened their eyes to this simple, yet beautiful way of constructing elongated baitfish imitations. I have decided to simplify my flatwing in order to keep to the Mundane manifesto, so this fly is simpler than your usual large flatwing.
I know that a flatwing is no novelty
The main part of the fly will be hackle feathers in a light gray color. You can use almost any medium quality saddle for this, as long as the feathers are slender and not too tapered. Any cheap, low grade dry fly saddle will be fine.
I will use the straight part of the feather for the "wing", and some of the fluffy stuff to form the "body" and give some volume. Not much, but enough to move some water.
I also want some shine, and I get that from simple flash. I simply add a bit in the wing. Talking wing and body is kind of a misnomer here since the feathers are supposed to form the whole body of the fish with some volume up front and a lot of movement in the full length, but that's how we name fly parts.
Finally I want that typical dark back of the sand eel, which in my eyes is superiorly obtained with peacock herl. This brilliant material has it all: shine, the right color, the length and the movement. And it's inexpensive and easy to find, so it a perfect mundane fly material.
Martin's Mundane Sand Eel
|Type||Cold saltwater fly|
|Year of origin||2010|
|Hook||Kamasan B175 Size 6|
|Wing||Narrow hackle feathers, grey, tan, grizzly or what you have|
|Flash||Smooth, straight pearl flash|
- Start the thread behind the hook eye
- Tie in 2-3 hackle feathers flat on top of the hook. Keep a bit of the fluffy part in front
- Tie in a flash straw on each side of the fly
- Finish off with 2-4 peacock herl on top of the wing
- Form a small head, whip finish and varnish
This pattern is a part of The Mundane Fly Project, which aims to create really simple patterns with few common materials.
There will be more on the project as more patterns get published.
These are the articles in the Mundane series:
- Martin's Mundane Zonker Worm in Patterns. Published January 19th 2012
- Martin's Mundane Fly Project in Patterns. Published February 9th 2012
- Martin's Mundane Shrimp in Patterns. Published April 7th 2012
- Martin's Mundane Crane Fly in Patterns. Published October 13th 2012
- Martin's Mundane Crazy Dane in Patterns. Published October 18th 2012
- One Mallard Shrimp in Patterns. Published June 1st 2013
- Martin's Mundane Sculpin in Patterns not scheduled for publishing yet.