skating epoxy candlefish(sand eel) fly [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: skating epoxy candlefish(sand eel) fly

08-11-2001, 05:08 PM
My passion for the past decade has been fly fishing for salmon particularly coho and sea-run cutthroat trout in the salt chuck in the Pacific Northwest(Washington). When the fish are feeding on baitfish, I use fly patterns similar to those that you folks use on the East Coast. My two favorites are Clouser Minnow(olive/white) and epoxy candlefish(sand eel)flies.

This past year, I have been playing around with foam(1/4")body candlefish patterns similar to Page's Slim Jim and have had fair success popping it on the surface. The coho and sea-run cutts normally hit a fast retrieved fly so I have devised a way to skate an epoxy candlefish fly. The only differences between it and a standard expoxy candlefish are: (1) A 8mm diameter pearl(transparent) sequin(buy at a local craft store) is epoxied behind the eye of the hook at a 45 degree angle sloping down to the back of the hook(#4 TMC 9394). The angled sequin causes the fly to plane up to the surface and skate when retrieved. (2) 1"x1/8"x1/8" closed foam strip(buy 1/8"x8"x11" sheet at a local craft store and cut into 1/8" wide strips) is secured on top of hook at eye and back with loose wraps of thread between there. It works okay without the foam except when there is little/no current. 5 mm diameter sequins are too small and 10 mm ones are too large while 8 mm one are just right at least for # 4 TMC 9394 hooks. The fish have been hitting the fly very aggressively with a several pound sea-run cutthroat clearing the water by a foot as it hit the fly.

The advantages of using the sequin vs. a foam(1/4") body are: (1) it has a slimmer more natural profile, (2) it skates across the surface better since the foam ones tend to act more like poppers, (3) you can let it sink for a few seconds and then drive it up to the surface with quick strips.

I have also put a 8 mm sequin epoxied at a 45 degree angle to the side on a Clouser Minnow(#6 TMC 9394) to give it sideways motion. The motion looked great when tried in a swimming pool. It will be interesting to see how well the coho and sea-run cutts like the sideways and up and down motion.

Have you folks on the East Coast tried sequins on the front of a fly or similar methods to bring or skate a fly up on the surface or give it sideways motion? What are your thoughts since the East Coast is where most of the proven salt water flies have orginated from?

08-12-2001, 10:54 AM
Clever idea! The 'sequin trick' has been used by steelhead and salmon FF'ers as kind of a secret trick but I have not heard of it being used the way you describe; it's a great idea! I've carried one in my vest and threaded

Especially since you can control the color variations and add a little eye-catching attraction with it in addition to the motion enhancement. I'll have to try it.

I would also recommend:

Crease flies - cut and fold the same foam you use currently, color and epoxy (great action)

Gurgler (Jack Gartside) - which is tied like a tarpon fly with a narrow piece of foam doubled over the back so that there is a planing lip hanging over the top of the fly, achieving the same function as the sequin.

epoxy, silicone or softex formed heads - which are all stiffeners in the event you want to create the planing effect with natural materials stiffened up.

The gurgler is probably the most similar to the sequin in design, I would think.

Hope we hook up next month!