Deep Eel [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Deep Eel

02-01-2007, 01:52 AM
Hi All,

I am one of six Brits coming out to to the US at the beginnining of June for two weeks. Fishing the Chatham area. We will be fishing one day from a boat and the rest on the flats and shore. Do not know details of any guides that have been arranged. Searching the forum I came up with the deep eel or real eel or whatever as a very good sand eel imitation. Now I have a problem. The pictures and postings are not very clear so i would be obliged if you could help me. It looks like a clouser with a twist and good attention to detail, is the tail tied in at the bend and then wrapped up the shank as far as the eye? Any body covering would then be wrapped over this. Are all the other materials tied in front of the eye and then collected with a few wraps behind the eye? How do you relate eye size and hook size to length of fly? Seems important that this fly does not allow the weight of eye to just turn this fly in to a jig. Position of the eye would seem important so that the fly swims correctly or do I have that all wrong. I would have to order all my materials from the US because there is not everything I will need is stocked in the UK. A list of materials and colours to tie a bunch of flies up would be great. I would be tying these from 3 inches to 8 inches is that about right? And what colour is root beer? never ever seen any! What other flys will be good to have considering most of our fishing will be from the shore. I do not want to steal any of your secret patterns and any I make will for my use only or given to others. Any help you can offer here would be most welcome.



02-01-2007, 08:07 AM
havent had the time to properly reply to the pm but here's a start...

For 'normal' sized eels use 1/0 TMC 811s hooks. Some look at the light wire and say no way. Over the years I've had this discussion a thousand times and now. even the former naysayers are all using them too. They are a lighter wire and pricey but the alloy strength and razor point are worth the cost. I woulnt' use them fishing rocks but on the flats they rule. Another factor people don't often consider is the influence the weight of the hook has on the casting and fishing. These hooks are the ones you want.

I would love to have a tying vise instead of my office desk in front of me, but I don't so a photo step by step will have to come another time.

Use two kinds of thread - a high-strength white and medium diam. clear monofilament thread (keep two bobbins threaded and ready)

First - tie in a flash core. White thread binds better. I prefer a semi-transparent fish body color like pearl. For summer, only tie in three strands. For spring and fall a good amount is great. Tie in at the bend in the middle of the flashabou (DNA, sparkleflash, etc) so that the tail extends the same length as the end of the body will, and leave enough to wrap the rest of the hook shank up close to the eye.

So the tail is the right length, the hook is masked with pearl to where the eye will later be attached. The eye is NOT tied on first.

Then take a full length of polar bear superhair so that it will comprise about half the volume of the fly body (if a cross-section was taken) when folded in half. So that means about 1/4 the total cross-section volume, remember you will be folding it.

before folding, take one end and twizzle it in the fingers so that it gets pointed like a mustache. Then hold that end and twizzle the other, which because of complementary lengths gets pointy too.

key point: don't use the fine strand synthetics! They foul all day long. The more beefy the strands, the better. This stuff is practically transparent when wet anyway, the point is to suggest a camoflaged eel with accents like flash and chartruese stripe (just like the reel thing). Thick strands are better, my flies don't foul except when they get mouthed by a big cow stripah

Now fold the point-ended lower body hair in the middle and tie the fold behind the eye leaving the eye clear of course. key point: form a 'cone' that the eyes will nestle into. I create a shape that will hold the valley between the eyes tightly (more later)

Next tie in the eyes over the end of the hair. Use 7/32 real eyes with silver stickers (2nd choice chartreuse). The hump of the end of the hair nestles the eyes so make sure you have a good gap from the eye to prevent the 'guppy eye' look and forward weighting that casts crappy.

crisscross wrap but NO wraps behind the eyes, the hair flares out from the vee of the eyes.

here's my secret...

build a cone-shaped nose in front that pushes the eyes against the hump with great tension, and the eyes never spin even without glue :smokin:

now switch to mono thread

tie in another highlight color layer (keep it thin) of dark or bright up to your mood and the season you are fishing, some flash if you are fishing spring colors, and a back of either root beer brown, emerald green when silversides are on the menu, or a nice sea green for general purpose. Peacock green or baitfish angel hair is good but not very durable. lately DNA is in almost all my eels.

The mono thread allows the back color to appear uninterrupted to the eye which makes thefly look even more realistic. Off-color threads at the head are an obnoxious feature of the true clouser, as is the thread wraps behind the eye.

My design has zero wraps behind the eye, the valley of the eye creates the vee to hold the materials and only 'X" wraps pass the centerline of the eye.

You want a measurable gap between the eye and eyes so don't guppy it. The snout will look much more lifelike and the weight balance is better.

gotta go, good luck

02-01-2007, 12:35 PM
Hi Juro,

Many thanks for that. Along with the other info I have gleaned I should be able to come up with something presentable.