The Flasher fly is not so much a fly as a method of adding a spinner to any tube fly which under certain circumstances enhances its attractiveness to almost any species of fish.
By Bob Kenly
Clevis, blade and brass ball can be added to almost any tube fly
The idea isn't new by any means but most I've seen involve a permanent attachment almost like a lure but a Welsh friend of mine told me about a system which they use on the River Usk and seems to fill the void between a fly and a lure.
The Flasher system can be used on almost any tube fly and requires very little hardware to accomplish:
- A small plastic clevis in either in the mini or small size. The mini is perfect for single handed rods and can take a size 0 to 1 blade, the small is used for any blade to size 3 and is better on a two handed rod.
- A French blade in a size dictated by the circumstances required. The French blade is used due to its high angle of attack (45 deg.) which keeps the spinner from tangling on the fly materials. You can use other blades if desired but remember they tend to lay back further and catch on the fly at times.
- A small brass bead as a bearing surface for the clevis to rotate. The hollow kind such as used in chain bead eyes are no good as they tend to have rough edges which snag on the clevis and stop rotation.
The author by the vice
That's it, really not that much to the whole affair, first you slip the clevis on the leader, add the bead, tie on your tube fly as always, snap a blade into the clevis and fish. No one has ever complained about the clevis chaffing the leader but all this whiz bang technology does have a down side. Due to its high angle of attack a French spinner tends to rise to the surface the faster it travels in the water or the larger the blade used. Your options are few, smaller blades, slower motion in the water or a heavier fly to counteract the lift. Another option is a different blade shape but remember the willow blade lays back at 17 degrees and the rest in between.
My Welsh friends tie a very small simple tube fly on a 3/4 inch tube with a bit of bucktail on the tube in various colors. From what I'm told the local authorities are about to have a stroke deciding is the Flasher is a fly or a lure. Whatever category it falls into it really works well and worth a try on some of those stubborn fish like king salmon.
812 - 13th Ave
Sidney, Nebraska 69160
The spinner blades (bottom left) and clevis (bottom right) used for Flasher flies