Salt flies.

Oldbones

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My second attempt at a salt fly
Hook, Partridge C52 Sea Prince 1/0.
Thread, Cream and Black.
Body, Uni Mylar Pearl, Bug Bond.
Thorax, Red Floss.
Underwing, Goose Stiffs.
Wing, Goose Stiffs.
Never fly fished the salt, it might be time to get on with it.
Tried using living larva, and just landed up with a big mess.
Any comments on how effective this fly could be would be very welcome.
20211024_184351 (2).jpg
 

original cormorant

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What is it intended to represent and what is the target species?

I have to be honest I'm finding it difficult to find credible answers. :whistle:
 

Rhithrogena

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My second attempt at a salt fly
Hook, Partridge C52 Sea Prince 1/0.
Thread, Cream and Black.
Body, Uni Mylar Pearl, Bug Bond.
Thorax, Red Floss.
Underwing, Goose Stiffs.
Wing, Goose Stiffs.
Never fly fished the salt, it might be time to get on with it.
Tried using living larva, and just landed up with a big mess.
Any comments on how effective this fly could be would be very welcome.
View attachment 44770
Will definitely take mackerel, scad, pollack and bass. Anything with a bit of flash wiill.
Flies with a fuller wing, Lefty's Deceiver style off er a bigger profile without too much bulk and are perhaps a better bet. Some Deceivers and some Clouser Minnows and a couple of Poppers and you're set!!
 

Rhithrogena

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Small bait fish, I don't know enough about sea fly fishing to really define what it is.
A lot of the time predatory sea fish are feeding on small fry and shrimps etc., esp. those you are likely to meet casting from the shore. Your fly ticks several boxes here...
 

original cormorant

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Mackerel are caught on feathers so a saltwater fly should aspire to something more, and I'm not convinced that this fly will add much other than a bit of flash.

Mobility is considered to be a fish attractor in bait fish patterns, the selected materials seem to deliberately avoid mobility. Saltwater flies tend to take a harder battering than fresh water flies and artificial materials are generally more durable than natural materials; at worst this fly could be wingless after a few casts.
Patterns based around Deceivers and Clousers with artificial materials are likely to be more effective.

For most UK applications you probably don't need to go bigger than size 2 hooks.
 

raphael

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Hi!

As above, let's tie something that is already proven efficient, which has mobility and flash: clousers, deceivers, sand eels, shrimps... Size 8 to 2 are OK for European waters.
Clousers and deceivers are easy and cheap: a few Chinese cock feathers, a pinch of bucktail, a few crystal flash and flashabou fibers and that's done.

To be honest, I would use your fly only if I had no other choice.

R
 

Sash

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I have to be honest: I think that is a big hook for not a lot of material.

Most of my flies shed bits of material as I fish during a session and either a) catch stuff which chews the fly or b), the fly gets ground up in the sand and shingle of the surf. Eventually only the Krystalflash is left!

So I tend to over-dress my UK saltwater flies, certainly compared to trout flies - yours looks (very) under-tied for my liking. And, as other posters have highlighted, your use of goose "stiffs" seems to me to lose a lot of attractiveness compared to various hairs (natural or synthetic) and hackle feathers (for both tails and collars).

There is quite a strong UK tradition of tieing flies short due to "tail-nipping", especially by rainbows and sea trout. I have never really experienced this in salwater: takes, even if initially gentle, tend to be middle or front of the fly, hence why eyes are such valuable features: they give a target for the fish.

I suspect that your fly is about 1.5" long: if I wanted a fly that size (and, most of the time, I want something signficantly longer, since I predominantly fish for bass, mackerel and pollack), I would tie on a size 6 hook, with a wing/tail of around the same length. When I tie on a 1/0 (which I do quite regularly - I find it a good size for bigger bass), my flies are 4-5" long, so at least three times the length of yours, for the same hook length.

Hope this helps
 

petevicar

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I have to be honest: I think that is a big hook for not a lot of material.
That comment is spot on.
Also the colours are very dark.

In my experience the most important aspect of a saltwater fly is that the fish can easily see it. It has to also look "fishy".
In general fish are only interested in very small flies when the water is very clear and they are keyed into tiny bait fish.

Despite the fact that the hook is quite large I would say that the fly is small.
 

JRT

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As Pete says. No1 rule of fly selection is that the fish has to see your fly. Most flies will be in the 2.5 to 5 inch range. No need to be fancy, as stated your grocery flies are mainly variations of clousers, deceivers, candies, gurglers.
 

treerat

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I’d stick to proven patterns like mentioned above ie Clousers ,Decivers and maybe gurgler for surface work.
Looks a tidy tie though.
 

Overmiwadrers

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I have fly fished of the rock ledges around here for many years ., Usually late summer for pollack and mackies , Over the years have had two sea trout on mackeral feathers both times they contained a lot of silver flash. I have also fished for sea trout on the rocks around the entrance to a sea trout stream nearby many times , Never hooked anything in many trips trying , But 200 m away in the stream had quite a few ,, They are a contrary creature lolol personally a sea trout fly for salt would be about 2 inches long blue and white and have eyes . and a bit of flash , probably a size 6 .

O M W
 

Nemo

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Ditch the feathers and add some hair

The "Brooks Blonde" has some similarities with your creation and is dead simple and very effective

Your tying is neat but too small and lacks impact

Doesnt need much to transform it
 

T_James

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What will you be fishing for and where in the UK? If you haven't been out yet and are going to figure it out for yourself then you'll soon realise that the hardest part of saltwater fly fishing is locating fish and spots. Ultimately that's part of the fun, but also involves a lot of legwork. Flies will be the least of your worries if it's predators you are after - just use the patterns as sizes recommended above.

If it's mullet then that's another discipline altogether! Either way your fly will catch but personally I feel that a simple clouser/deceiver would work better.
 

Oldbones

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Thank you all for the great information and pointers and opinions. It has really helped me.
I will be trying soon to tie another fly, I have been watching videos of this style.
 

david barnes

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I really love the simplicity of the fly. I can see it being highly effective, particularly in the early season when pin fry are about (June/July).
Yes the traditional bigger flies with more mobility will attract, but as with all aspects of chasing predators, you are best served when “matching the hatch” cliche 👍
 

Oldbones

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What size eyes would I need to purchase to create salt flies and do I really need them at all.
 

running bear

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What size eyes would I need to purchase to create salt flies and do I really need them at all.
You dont need them, bit they do look good. I am convinced they add a percentage to effectiveness, although getting the fly in front of the fish amd movement is 95% of the battle.

I order from bogdan gawlik and anything between 3mm for smaller flies on 6's to 10mm for huge efforts on 6/0's. But the old method of two circles in paint or varnished in circles of shiny material with a marker dot work well too.
 

Sash

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You dont need them, bit they do look good. I am convinced they add a percentage to effectiveness, although getting the fly in front of the fish and movement is 95% of the battle.
+1; totally agree

Also, do you already use epoxy in your tying? If not, you will need to do this just to keep the eyes in place (and even with epoxy big eyes are not the most durable - SWFF is hard on all tackle!).

If you have not already gone down the epoxy route (horrible stuff), a better investment would be dumbbell eyes for Clousers: many of these come with the eye already on the dumbell.

PM me your address and I can send you some of each
 

PaulD

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I no longer have the opportunity to fish in the salt, but when I did, flies like this were successful patterns, combining a long and mobile wing, elements of flash and heavier, epoxy heads that incorporated very visible eyes which, in my opinion, are an important 'trigger point'.

Salt Fly 2.jpg


It's a pattern from an American book I bought about twenty years ago, 'Tying Contemporary Saltwater Flies,' by David Klausmeyer. It's an excellent 'step by step' guide. I've just checked Amazon and they advertise a copy at £59.99!
 

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