Shad Minnow fly pattern

By LabRat

Thread:  White
Hook:  Mustad C52S BLN #4 2x Long Stinger/Deerhair
Pillow:  Red Embroidery Yarn
Underbody:  Pearl Krystal Flash
Belly :  Pearl Angel Hair
Wing :   Silver Angel Hair over Pearl Angel Hair
Lateral Line:  Holographic Tinsel
Topping:   Peacock Herl
Cheek :  Mallard Flank

TYING STEPS

  1. Mount the hook in the vise and start your thread just behind the eye.
  2. Wrap the thread back to the halfway point of the shank and tie in a short length of bright red yarn. The yarn will form the “pillow” of the fly.  Wrap about 1/4” of hook shank with red yarn to form a bump in the middle of the shank.
  3. For this fly I like to use head cement or superglue between every step to hold everything in place and reinforce the fly. I do not usually do this, but the Angel Hair synthetic is a very slippery material and using cement will help hold the fly together.  Trust me, it is worth the effort to use it.
  4. Clip out 15 strands or so of pearl Krystal Flash for the underbody. Tie the Krystal Flash to the top of the hook directly in front of the yarn. Half the length of the material should extend over the eye and the other half should flow to the rear of the hook. The red pillow will prop the material up so that it flows up and away from the hook shank.
  5. Take the Krystal Flash material that is jutting over the eye and bring it under the shank. Wrap the thread back towards the tail of the fly to lock in the material, making a “V” shaped underbody for the fly. It is the springy nature of the Krystal Flash that will support the Angel Hair and give this fly its form and swimming action.
  6. Select enough Pearl Angel Hair to make the under wing. Keep the amount of material somewhat sparse so the Krystal Flash can shine through.  The end, or “tail” of the fly should be uneven.  This helps give the fly a tapered profile.  Tie in tightly just in front of the Krystal Flash with three to five tight wraps.  
  7. Rotate your vise (or invert the hook), select the same amount of Pearl Angel Hair for the belly as you used for the under wing and tie in with three to five tight wraps. At this point I overwrap the ends of the Angel Hair all the way up to the hook eye to form a smooth tapered head.
  8. Rotate the hook (or invert the hook) so it is right side up again.  Bring your thread back to the point where you tied in the Pearl Angel Hair.
  9. Select a bit less Silver Angel Hair than the Pearl used for the underbody.  Tie this in over the white underwing to form the darker upper flank of the shad imitation.  Tie in with three to five tight wraps.
  10. At this point once again I overwrap the ends of the Angel Hair all the way up to the hook eye to keep a smooth tapered head.  I also am generous with the head cement to really bond all the slippery Angel Hair in to place.
  11. Cut a strip of medium holographic silver tinsel and measure it so it is as long as the wing.  Tie the tinsel in so that about 1/8” extends in front of the hook eye.  This means the tail of the tinsel will be a bit shorter than the body of the fly.  Tie in the tinsel with two wraps of thread, then fold the excess back. Take two more wraps of thread to lock the tinsel in place. Repeat on the other side of the hook.
  12. Select two nicely marked mallard flank feathers and measure them so they are about one half the length of the finished fly. Strip the excess barbs from the bottom of each feather, matching them to each other for length and shape. Tie one on each side of the fly as a cheek to make the head and upper body of the shad.
  13. Select three thick peacock herl strands.  Measure them so they are just a bit shorter than the upper wing. Tie in the peacock herls on top of the Silver Angel Hair wing to form the dark back of the minnow.
  14. Overwrap the entire head with thread to form a smooth well tapered head and generously wet with head cement.  Whip finish.

15. After the head cement is fully dry, apply a drop of gel superglue to the mallard flank just behind the thread head. Stick an eye to each side of the fly just behind the thread head. The eye is a critical strike trigger for this pattern. Select an eye that is, proportionally, just a little larger than life.

 

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Fly pattern list from the 2008 swap.


 

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