Earle Grossman - Flyfish@ Smelt Swap

FF@ Smelt '98 Logo
Submitted By Earle Grossman

HOOK Mustad 3366 size 2
BODY Lead underbody, covered with Pearl Bill's Body Braid
THROAT Fine White Bucktail or Calftail
WING AND BELLY Contrasting rabbit fur strips 2-3" long, belly 3/8" shorter than wing
LATERAL LINE Pearl Krystal Flash
EYES 3D eyes with self-adhesive back
HEAD Devcon 5-minute epoxy

Earle's Comments On These Patterns

The double bunny smelt is a fly originated by Bill Thompson of Meredith, NH. He adapted this from the double bunny tied by Scott Sanchez for the One-Fly Competition a few years back. I have recently seen the double bunny offered for sale in a couple of catalogs as a saltwater fly.

Tying Instructions:
  1. Attach thread behind eye and wrap back to bend of hook. Wrap lead underbody. I used size .010 lead for mine as this is a big fly and I definitely want it to sink.

  2. Overwrap lead with tying thread several times leaving thread at bend of hook. At this point, you can cement your thread wraps over the lead to give it greater stability.

  3. Tie in Bill's Body Braid at bend of hook and advance thread to inch behind the hook eye, leaving enough room for the attachment of the wing and belly.

  4. Wrap Bill's Body Braid forward to thread forming a body that is tapered at both ends, but larger at the front near hook eye. Tie off body braid and cut off excess.

  5. Prepare rabbit strips by cutting them to size, 2-3" inches long depending on the size of hook with the belly strip slightly shorter than the wing. Bill Thompson recommends cutting a v-shaped notch at the front end of each of these strips to facilitate tying them in without creating a bulky head.

  6. Hold belly strip against hook. With a sharp bodkin, poke a hole in the center of the belly strip right where it would sit against the hook when tied in.

  7. Poke hook through hole, bring belly strip up firmly against hook and tie in. Use a minimum of tight thread wraps to attach. Tie in wing in similar fashion on top of body.

  8. Fold wing forward so it is draped over the eye of the hook, giving you free access to the top of the body of the fly. Using a toothpick, spread a small amount of silicone sealer along the top of the body and continue applying sealer to skin side of belly strip. Press wing strip to the body and then to the belly strip, using your finger to remove any sealer that squeezes out.

  9. Take three or four strands of Krystal Flash (pearl) and attach to side of head of fly using 2-3 wraps of thread, making sure that enough flash extends past eye of hook to equal length extending back over body. Lateral line should run about 2/3 of body length. Fold over Krystal flash so it is all back along side of fly and tie down. Repeat on other side of body.

  10. Form a nice smooth head, whip finish and cut off thread.

  11. Attach eyes to side of head with 1/2 of eye over the side of the head and 1/2 over the body of the fly.

  12. Mix up a little 5-minute epoxy and, using a toothpick, form a nice rounded head with epoxy covering the head all the way to the back of the eye. Remember that epoxy has a mind of its own and you will need to rotate the vise as you apply it in order to have a nice symmetrical head. If you do not have one of those motorized contraptions for drying epoxy flies, continue to rotate the vise by hand until epoxy has dried enough that it does not run.

  13. Remove fly from vise and allow epoxy to cure (takes several hours). Fly should be placed such that epoxy does not come into contact with any other surface until it is cured.

I purchased a tying video this winter called 'Wicked Good Flies for New England" and have been working my way through it. When I saw the double bunny smelt, my instincts told me it would be a great fly for any area where there are smelt. I have tied this fly in three color combinations: olive/white, black/grizzly and deep purple/hot pink. I expect to give this fly a good workout on the local lakes and ponds, as well as the bigger rivers near home. I am also hopeful that the fly will excite some interest from the trout and salmon in far northern NH at the Damn Yankee Clave in June.

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