Snake Fly
Fly Tying

Snake Fly

This can be a deadly pattern for seatrout.  It has been tied in many forms from the one I will explain to others that are tied entirely with braid.  It can be used in a number of sizes and is light and therefore easy to cast with a single-handed rod.

This can be a deadly pattern for seatrout.

It has been tied in many forms from the one I will explain to others that are tied entirely with braid.

It can be used in a number of sizes and is light and therefore easy to cast with a single-handed rod.

The dressing is as follows:

  • Hook: Treble to suit length. This one is a size 6. A 2/0 Aberdeen hook with the hook cut off. 20lb 7 strand wire or 30lb nylon to join treble and  head shank
  • Silk: Black or Red
  • Body: Mylar tubing in pearl silver or gold
  • Underwing: Red, silver or gold holographic tinsel
  • Overwing: Black Bear or long black hair of choice.
  • Cheeks/Eyes: Jungle Cock eye feathers
  • Head: Black

The tying sequence is as follows:

Firstly take your treble hook and secure it in the vice with the bottom brazed hook in the jaws. Tie on your silk with a jam knot.

Now take a length of the wire or nylon and thread it in through the top and bottom of the hook eye.

Make two turns of the silk to stop them from springing out and pull the wire tight to form a loop of wire around the back of the hook. Tie-down and secure with more turns of silk. To prepare the body material I spray it with hairspray before I do anything. This will prevent the strands unravelling before you have finished the fly and making it look messy.

Cut the length of tubing to an inch more than you want the length of the fly to be and remove the centre core.

Push this tubing over the wire and tie in onto the shank of the treble. Whip finish with your fingers as it is impossible to do so with a whip finish tool. Varnish and leave to dry completely. You can do a number of these mounts in one go. It works out that when you have completed 6 or more the first will normally be dry enough to carry on with the tying. Know to prepare the head end of the mount. For this, I use a2/0 Aberdeen sea hook and snip off the hook part. This head mount needs to be large enough in the eye to take the wire as well as strong enough to support the whole fly.

Grip the eye of the cut hook in the vice but leave sufficient room for you to put the wire through the eye itself. The eye will be vertical when the fly is finished.

Wind on the silk and then push the wire through the eye one end at a time. Each from opposite sides. The wire needs to be set in such a way that the two hooks of the treble sit downwards. This will ensure that the fly will swim properly and not spin. Pull the wires back towards the treble and take two or three turns over the wire. Take hold of the treble and pull the treble back away from the head gently. This will tighten the mount and remove any slack in the wire. Secure with more turns of silk.

Take hold of the mylar tubing and pull it towards the head and tie it securely to the shank of the cut hook. Remember that this tying in will dictate the size of the head so do not leave it to long or too small.

This pattern has an underwing of a few strands of tinsel. In this pattern, I have used red holographic tinsel but the choice is yours from silver through to pearl. Do remember though only a couple of strands are needed. Be careful when you tie anything on the head that your fingers do not get caught in the treble hook. It does happen I know from experience and it ain’t a pleasant experience!!!!!!

The overwing of bear hair is now tied in above and below the body of the fly. Remember that for sea trout you need very little material in the wing to work well.

Your wing should not be too long. This means that it does not cover the treble. Whip finish and varnish the head.

Tie in a large jungle cock eye feather on each side of the head. When you fish this fly you will often have takes that almost pull the rod from your hand and when you strike there is nothing. I believe that this is because the fish hit the head of the fly to stun or kill it and then they take it a second time as do bass. It doesn’t half take your breath away and gets the heart pumping.

Tight Lines.