Juro and the Real Eel
In the thread "Morin in Fly Tyer" in the Worldwide Fishing forum, Juro commented: Credit Bob Clouser and an attorney from Boston by the name of Bob Bianci for that favorite of mine (the Real Eel), I just modified it for the flats by varying the materials and developing my own methods of material distribution (french moustache) and head construction. Specifically, the fly is constructed with two different levels, one in white durable thread (body) and the other in monofilament thread (back and head).
Absolutely no wrapping occurs behind the eyes in a perpendicular to the hook shaft, which differs from the traditional Deep Minnow of Clouser fame. Bob Bianci also wrapped as Clouser does, where I do not.
A single strand of flashabou is folded and embedded in the core of the material, which is entirely synthetic.
I prefer a lightwire high strength alloy hook, the TMC 811s, with barb removed.
I prefer tungsten eyes with recessed eye sockets and the weight must match the material's wind resistance to allow full line fly casts. Most common Clouser Deep Minnows have a much higher eye weight to material ratio and thus have a slingshot effect when cast. The upriding hook is essential in very shallow water with debris on the sand. The careful matching of material and eye weight is evident in the samples I received from Mr.Bianci in the early 90's.
At first glance, it appears to be "just a clouser". Yet out of 100 variations on store shelves under that namesake, I would prefer to tie my own due to the differences.
It's really the "deep eel", out of respect for Mr.Clouser's "deep minnow", which is the proper name he gave the fly that catches anything that swims.
In the second part of the thread, Juro wrote:
How I would love to come experiment for blackmouth with the Atlantis and variations of the striper fly!
I would think that it would be best tied as a tube fly, two-part. I would tie the front half with a small set of eyes and a little lead wrap toward to rear for balance and weight, which in 100+ feet of water has to help. Body braid over the tubing, maybe a larger diameter ez-body flattened slightly for profile.
Then something to keep the second segment from folding over, a little cone of some sort, maybe just the flareout of the bodybraid itrself, and a lively tail segment that extends the same color schemes of the front half with a core of pearl flashabou and a single barbless stinger in the tail.
I've caught some nice feeder chinook off the shore from Brown's Point to Des Moines Marina on Puget Sound; I would imagine Port Townsend and surrounding structures would be much better.
I'm sure that a guy who lived in Mukilteo who spends an hour each evening casting such a fly or a nice herring fly from the rocks by the ferry could land 100 salmon in a year.
Bush Point, Fort Casey, Ediz Hook - the opportunities abound.
Does anyone know if it's possible to walk out to the end of the breakwater at Neah Bay?
Keith Jackson then asks:
Juro: A few questions, if you please. First, on the tube fly version, you suggest that a cone, perhaps of body braid be used to keep the hook/tail section from folding over. Wouldn't a junction tube be better? Or would that be too stiff a connection? I'm thinking that extending the wing by tying a second wing on the hook might be more attractive from a motion standpoint.
Second question, assuming my version of the tube fly bombs, what size hook and eyes are you recommending? For balance, these should be compatible, I would think.
Finally, where in the world did you find tungsten barbell eyes with recessed sockets? The few places I've looked haven't had them.
It certainly is past time to get busy with this pattern. I know a spot where the springers gather in saltwater where this might work quite well.
As for the breakwater at Neah Bay-- don't know if you can get out there or not, but it terminates on Waadah Island, so there is no real end, at least that's what I remember from last year. The island had a goat on it two years ago, so if your tennies are up to it...
You present some great questions. I would suspect that the ideal hook placement for salmon would be at the joint, and that allows the hook itself to be part of the structural equation as well if desired. The upfacing hook point is not an issue in Puget Sound and Straits waters. I need it on shallow flats to avoid picking up shells and debris, often putting the fly on the sand as part of the presentation but this is not an issue in salmon country, so it would be best to keep the hook on the same side as the eyes to swim upright and avoid fouling. A twopart body might be the ticket, with the hook coming out of the thorax about the same place the vent would be in a real candlefish (anterior limit of the abdominal cavity) and the back segment flexibly yet firmly attached.
With the right materials one could simply tie them both similarly and when chained together they would appear to be an extended candlefish fly; when the back is fished alone it would appear to be a shorter lance.
Have to think about this one, and tie up some prototypes.
I think you're right on with the hook placement about where the vent would be. One of the advantages of spending a couple of decades chasing salmon with bait is that I've come to realize that salmon often, and maybe predominantly, take a baitfish from the side about mid body. Gotta think about the linkage though-- not sure how that would work short of a tube-- I'm going to have some time next week to explore this further.
Thanks for the input and ideas...keep 'em coming.
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