Published May 12. 2022 - 4 months ago
Updated or edited May 14. 2022

Primordial Bonefish Stew

This saltwater variation of Trevor Tanner’s Primordial Carp Stew works very well at fooling large spooky bonefish in shallow water

Primordial Bonefish Stew
Primordial Bonefish Stew
Alan Youell

Prior to our second hosted trip to Roatan I was paging through Jay Zimmerman’s book “The Best Carp Flies: How to Tie and Fish Them” looking for inspiration for the next “new” bonefish fly. Did I ever find a winner! This saltwater variation of Trevor Tanner’s Primordial Carp Stew worked especially well at fooling large spooky fish in shallow water situations.

Designed to mimic the abundant green reef crabs that are found on the ocean side flats of Roatan, Belize and Mexico, this fly lands softly, sinks quickly and produces a lot of fish enticing motion.
While the standard pattern is tied on a size 6 or 8 hook with olive coloured materials and an orange “hot spot”, this fly also works well when tied in tan/orange or sand/pink colour combinations.

Primordial Bonefish Stew
Pattern type: 
Warm saltwater fly
Originator: 
Trevor Tanner, adapted by Alan Youell

A variation of Trevor Tanner’s Primordial Carp Stew, designed to mimic the abundant green reef crabs that are found on the ocean side flats of Roatan, Belize and Mexico. Lands softly, sinks quickly and produces a lot of fish enticing motion.

Species: 
Materials: 
Hook
Gamakatsu SL45 - size 6
Thread
UTC Ultra 70 – brown olive
Eyes
Medium bead chain – black
Flash
Krystal flash – hot orange
Tail/Back
Medium MFC speckled sexi-floss – olive
Rear Body
EP 0.5” wooly critter brush – sculpin
Front Body
Hareline dubbin – fl. orange
Legs
Medium MFC speckled sexi-floss – olive
Wing
Rabbit strip – olive variant
Adhesive
Gorilla Glue gel and Zap-A-Gap brush on
Snag guard
20lb Mason hard mono
Skill level/difficulty: 
Easy

Tying Instructions

Hook and thread
Hook and thread
Alan Youell

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise. Attach the thread and wrap back to a point two hook eyes length from the eye of the hook.

Eyes
Eyes
Alan Youell

Step 2. Place a drop of super glue - gel on the thread wraps and then figure eight wrap the bead chain or dumbbell eyes to the top of the hook (This fly rides hook point up).

Tail
Tail
Alan Youell

Step 3. Tie in 4 strands of krystal flash, on top of the hook, starting at a point directly behind the eyes and wrapping the thread over the flash to a point 1/3 of the way down the bend of the hook. Trim the flash fibres to the length of the hook shank.

Rubber legs
Rubber legs
Alan Youell

Step 4. Tie in 4 strands of speckled sexi-floss on top of the hook. Position the four strands so that they are even in length with the krystal flash and wrap back up the shank ending at a point directly behind the eyes. The greater length of the four strands should be draped over the eye of the hook when you have completed this step. Note: go easy on the tension of the initial thread wraps or you will splay the tail excessively.

Body
Body
Alan Youell

Step 5. Pull the long loose ends of the 4 strands of speckled sexi-floss back over the tie down area and tie them firmly to the top of the hook shank. This material should be tied to a point 1/3 of the way down the bend of the hook. Leave the remaining length of the legs hanging to the rear of the fly, for now.

Hackle
Hackle
Alan Youell

Step 6.At the rear tie in point secure an EP wooly critter brush.

Wrapped
Wrapped
Alan Youell

Step 7. Palmer the brush forward 3 or 4 turns to a point 1/3 of the way down the hook shank. Tie down the brush and then using wire cutters cut the excess off. Trim each of the wooly critter rubber legs to half the original size.

Dubbing
Dubbing
Alan Youell

Step 8. Dub a shaggy florescent orange “abdomen” starting at the end of the woolly critter brush and dubbing up to and around the beadchain eyes. Using a dubbing brush rough up the dubbed body to bring out the spikey rabbit fur.

Legs forward
Legs forward
Alan Youell

Step 9. Pull the long loose ends of the 4 strands of speckled sexi-floss forward over the top of the body and eyes, forming a shell back, and firmly secure them to the hook shank. Leave the remaining length of the legs hanging off the front of the fly, for now.

Arrange legs
Arrange legs
Alan Youell

Step 10. Divide the long loose ends of the 4 strands of speckled sexi-floss so that you have 2 strands on each side of the hook and proceed to tie them down by wrapping thread back towards the beadchain eyes.

Trim legs
Trim legs
Alan Youell

Step 11. Trim the legs so that each one is a hook shank in length.

Wing
Wing
Alan Youell

Step 12. Rotate the fly in the vice. Cut a clump of rabbit fur off the hide and tie it in so that it extends back over the bend of the hook.

Snag guard
Finishing
Alan Youell

Step 13.Optional: cut a 4 cm long piece of 20lb Mason hard mono. Flatten and bend one end into a 90-degree L-shape and tie in on top of the rabbit fur tie-in point.

Finishing
Last step
Alan Youell

Step 14. Build up a small thread dam in front of the snag guard, whip finish and coat with Zap-A-Gap.

Your Primordial Stew is now complete and you are ready to head out on the water!

A Roatan bonefish
A Roatan bonefish
Alan Youell
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