Published Mar 12. 2009 - 14 years ago
Updated or edited Jul 29. 2023

The Charlie Fly

The Charlie Fly was inspired by the underfur from the originator's Chocolate Lab. Ken Bonde Larsen's dog has unwillingly become the material manufacturer for this great sea trout producer. As it often is with Danish with sea trout flies it's a small, generic pattern.

The Charlie Fly - Originated by Ken Bonde Larsen
The Charlie Fly
Martin Joergensen

A Chocolate Labrador has not only delivered the name for this fly, but also one of its main materials - the body dubbing.
Charlie is the originator Ken Bonde Larsen's 12 year old brown lab, and since his first year his underfur (the dog's that is) has been meticulously saved by Ken as a staple material for fly tying. This particular batch has been mixed with some copper/brown Angle Hair to add a bit of sparkle, but has still kept the brownish, grayish tone, which is typical for most dark dog underfur. You can of course replace the dog underfur with the underfur of the brown Arctic fox used for the tail - should you not have a Chocolate Lab in the house.

This particular pattern has by far been his most productive Charlie-underfur-pattern, and is now a permanent resident in Ken's coastal fly box.

He uses it as a go-to-pattern on days with clear water and calm conditions or when the fish seem to be in the mood for "small and discrete". The fly isn't minute, but its colors and size aren't exactly yelling out "here I come!" either. Ken's entries in our small online report system tells the story. He has registered about 40 sea trout caught on this fly during the last few years.
The fly is again one of those generic patterns, which don't imitate anything in particular, and it would most likely produce both bonefish, brown trout, bass and panfish if used for these species.

Charlie close up
Charlie close up
Henning Eskol
Dogfish? - Charlie and a newly caught sea trout
The Chocolate Labrador - Charlie, whose fur is in the fly
A small rainbow - Rainbows in the salt can be picky, but the Charlie can often lure them
Ken Bonde Larsen - Birgitte Claussen

As you might remember, we have featured "dog patterns" on GFF before, and can remind you of The Mia Fly (Cocker Spaniel) and the Sunray Shadow (Shetland Sheepdog), and we know that angler's dogs have delivered hair and fur for many a killer fly.

The Charlie Fly
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Ken Bonde Larsen
Short shank wet fly, #4-8
Tying thread
Burnt orange
Warm pearlescent flash
Brown Arctic fox
Copper wire
Chocolate Lab underfur mixed with copper Angel Hair
Brown rooster
Tying thread
Skill level/difficulty: 
See the tying instructions below

Step 1 - the hook

Step 2 - weight

Step 3 - start the thread

Step 4 - flash

Step 5 - varnish

Step 6 - tag

Step 7 - finish tag

Step 8 - tail

Step 9 - finish tail

Step 10 - twinkle

Step 11 - flash in tail

Step 12 - trim flash

Step 13 - rib

Step 14 - dub thread

Step 15 - body

Step 16 - dubbing done

Step 17 - tease

Step 18 - fluffy

Step 19 - prepare hackle

Step 20 - tie in hackle

Step 21 - start hackle

Step 22 - catch hackle

Step 23 - tie down rib

Step 24 - head

Step 25 - whip finish

Step 26 - varnish

The Charlie Fly

Charlie and Ken - An angler out walking the dog!
Ken Bonde Larsen - ...and a Charlie fish
Another one has fallen - The Charlie was the bane of this sea trout
Charlie loves water - As most labs, he's in there as soon as he can get. And combine that with a ball... ehr... a buoy, and he's on!
Charlie scenes
Ken Bonde Larsen - Martin Joergensen - Jens Groenlund


Thats a nice fishing...

Thats a nice fishing mate?It must be fun to wade with a dog:D

I had a black labrad...

I had a black labrador. She kindly donated several batches of her hair, for my rather ugly patterns, in return for a good brushing.
As our household is, unfortunately, void of her company...I have to seek other resources.

My son is due a hair cut anyday...


Martin Joergensen's picture

Kelvin, Frankly I...


Frankly I think this fly af the Omoe Brush are quite different, but that might just be me.

Regarding the availability of dog fur, the fur you buy as Arctic fox is actually often dog, and the underfur from that would work fine. Brown rabbit could also do the trick, and I don't even think it would be sacrilegious to use synthetic dubbing in a suitable color.

Regarding the dog's ability to cast, he's lost a bit lately, being an elderly dog. But as you can see from this picture he manages to land sea trout fine on a very short and fairly fast stick - and he doesn't need waders either.


Nice fly, looks a li...

Nice fly, looks a little like his Omoe brush

2 questions
Where do you buy dog fur??
How far can the dog cast?

This is a great stor...

This is a great story and a great fly. My wife would tell that most of our dogs fur is on the furniture. I am ususaly the one in the dog house and the dog is on the couch.

Great fly thank you.

Nice ! I must try m...

Nice ! I must try my vorsther's underfur

vanuz's picture

Works perfect using ...

Works perfect using original Charie's underfur....


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