Published Jun 12. 1997 - 26 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 15. 2017

Chilli Pepper Flies

So you thought that chilli pepper was a small, strong, spicey fruit? Well, it is... but it's also a seemingly popular name for fishing flies. In the past I have come over no less than three patterns with the name Chilli Pepper.

Yes, this is a chilli
So you thought that chilli pepper was a small, strong, spicey fruit? Well, it is... but it's also a seemingly popular name for fishing flies. In the past I have come over no less than three patterns with the name Chilli Pepper. And I'm sure that there are more out there.

The first Chilli Pepper I ever saw was actually called Chile Pepper and was tied By the US tyer Phil Strobel while he was visiting The Bananaflies here in Denmark. He was inspired to tie this fly by seeing the Omoe Brush. The fly was originated by Marcos Vergeras, formerly of Fly&Field. The Chile Pepper was originated by both he and Bill Hurrell while on an excursion to Tierra del Fuego. It uses Golden Pheasant feathers solely. It's very simple to tie, utilizing the New Zealand Mrs. Simpson style of applying the feathers on the side of the hook shank. Phil tied a sample fly that evening, and I kept it as a memory and thought no more of it.

Spezio's Chilli

But a couple of years later there was a second Chilli Pepper mentioned on the FF@ fly fishing mailing list. This fly was introduced by Tony Spezio, whose friend Bob Root was the originator. I was lucky enough to exchange some flies with Tony, and a couple of Chilli Peppers were included in Tony's bunch.
The last Chilli Pepper that I know was brought about - also on FF@ - by Aaron Adams of The Virgin Islands. This Chilli Pepper is a salt water pattern and a variation of the well known Crazy Charlie. It's not Aaron's own pattern, but none of us know the origin. Hence it's dubbed Aaron Adam's Chilli Pepper

Phil Strobel's Chile Pepper

Strobel's Chile Pepper

HookTiemco TMC 200 #2
ThreadRed or black
BodyRows of yellow G.P. body feathers
CheeksRed G.P. body feather
HeadRed or black

  1. Tie in a yellow G.P. body feather as a tail approx. three quarters shank length
  2. Advance the thread forwards one third of the shank length
  3. Tie a pair of yellow G.P. body feathers vertically on each side of the shank - 'Mrs. Simpson style'
  4. Advance the thread one more third
  5. Tie in one more pair of yellow feathers vertically
  6. Wind the thread to one eye width behind the hook eye
  7. Tie in one more pair of red G.P. body feathers as cheeks reaching almost to the hook bend
  8. Form a nice, small head from the tying thread
  9. Whip finish and varnish

Says Phil Strobel:
- I learned my version of the Chili (actually Chile) Pepper from one of the originators Marcos Vergara.

Phil tells that Marcos was born in Chile and runs a fishing camp there. Marcos has had success using the Chile Pepper for the huge sea run brown trout
that frequent the rivers of Chile. Phil concludes:

- I have found it to be a useful pattern for stream resident brown trout here in the states.

Bob Root's Chilli Pepper

Root's Chilli
Bob Root's own Chilli Pepper

Spezio's Chilli
Tony Spezio's version of Bob Root's Chilli Pepper

HookMustad 9672 or 79580 #6-14
Weight20 wraps lead wire
ThreadFluo orange
TailBurnt orange marabou
HackleDark ginger or furnace saddle hackle
BodyBronze or Copper Mylar Chenille. Bob has a special mix of chenille that he has Danville make up for him. It has pearlesent mixed with the copper.
HeadFluo orange or gold 5 mm bead with small painted eyes.

  1. Add optional weight in the form of lead wire or a gold bead
  2. Tie in a tail on top of the hook shank. Length approx. half shank length. The butt ends of the marabou can cover the whole hook shank to form a thicker body
  3. Tie in hackle pointing upwards, tip first, shiny side in
  4. Tie in the chenille, agin covering the shank for a thicker body
  5. Advance the tying thread to one eye width behind hook eye or right behind bead head
  6. Follow with close wraps of the chenille
  7. Tie down and cut surplus
  8. Wrap the hackle in the opposite direction of the chenille. Make shure the fibers lie nicely and point backwards
  9. Tie down and cut surplus
  10. Form a head from the tying thread
  11. Whip finish and varnishor
  12. Whip finish just behind the bead and varnish
  13. Paint eyes on the bead head

Aaron Adam's Chilli Pepper

Adam's Chilli
Original version of the Chilli Pepper

HookMustad 34007 #2
ThreadRed flatwaxed nylon
BodyGold mylar wrapped around hook shank from eye to bend. Clear mono wrapped over mylar
WingFine apricot/orange bucktail or calftail
HeadColor of thread

  1. Tie in the thread one eye width behind the hook eye
  2. Tie in the monofile under the hook shank
  3. Cover shank and monifile with a smooth layer of thread to the hook bend
  4. Wrap the thread back to just behind the hook eye forming a smooth base for the tinsel
  5. Tie in gold tinsel
  6. Wrap the tinsel to the hook bend and back to form a smooth layer of gold
  7. Tie down and cut surplus
  8. Cover the tinsel body with touching wraps of monofile.
  9. Tie down and cut surplus
  10. Turn the hook upside down
  11. Tie in a bunch of hair as a false hackle/wing. Tips should touch and slightly cover the hook point
  12. Trim the butts
  13. Form a head over the butts
  14. Whip finish and varnish

Aaron's notice: For deeper water I wrap lead wire around the hook shank prior to wrapping the mylar.

Martin's notice: The fly can be tied with almost any type of orange hair. Arctic fox or squirrel will do fine too. Dumbbell eyes can be tied in on top of the shank to add weight and secure an upside-down position in the water.

Salt water Chilli
Chilli Pepper variations. Left: with silver body and black head. Right: a version with dumbbell eyes for weight.



Great, great page, I...

Great, great page, I really enjoy the articles and reviews. Love the chilly flies. I will try tying it and use it on catching all sort of NW salt and freshwater species.


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

Since you got this far …

The GFF money box

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.