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