Juro's Juvie (3-6")
Hook: TMC 811s 3/0 or 4/0
Thread: white monochord or other strong light colored thread
Tail: 6 matched white hackles, laid with curve inward each side of hook at bend
Wing(shoulder) and back: bucktail or synthetic fishhair (white) under polar flash (pearl) under Rainbow Angel Hair
Throat (abdomen): Bucktail or synthetic white fish hair under MARABOU tuft
Head: Angel hair is tied to eye, then laid along back. Two stick-on eyes are affixed, then the forward section is coated with Softex. The softex holds down the back hair, the eyes, and starts the throat.
There is no out of proportion eye painted on the thread ball like the true deceiver, and the body profile can be made to closely approximate bunker profiles by thickening the buildup on the top and bottom in front of the tail hackles.
My secret is that the marabou (a) fattens the belly section like a real baitfish and (b) creates a foil to make the hackles swim like a tadpole. This makes a b-i-g difference.
Tied in the larger size range these would probably be killer around mid-May in the Merrimack River when there are tons of river herring present (alewife and bluebacks). Heck in any coastal river that supports runs of stripers and herring it would work.
I tried to tie a larger fly to imitate them last year, but failed badly (too heavy to cast when water logged), this looks like the ticket. In the fall tied towards the small end of the spectrum (~3") it would pass very nicely for the outmigrating juvenile herring.
With the larger sized pattern - Have you ever tied it using a tandem hooks? The reason for the question is that this pattern would probably work just as well for bluefish. Stripers in my experience take everything down headfirst (99% of the time), but bluefish, at least when they are small, will attack larger prey from the rear and bite it in two - then other fish snap it up, or they come back to finish off the job. Having a rear hook, even though it is a headache, may result in some additional hookups instead of bumps. Just a thought.
I initially tied this as a coho salmon fly using a tube body and either a tandem hooked leader (unfixed) or as a single fixed hook and surge tube holder to hold the hook back far enough for the sideswipers that ocean coho are.
I have watched coho strike in the clear ocean water and noticed that they often swim along below or behind the fly and rush ahead in a burst to hit it with a vengeance from the side to whiplash the bait. This same fish exhibits a much subdues behavior once entering fresh water, sometimes requiring the use of ultralong leaders and tiny nymphs to hook with any regularity (Beginner's Hole in the Kalama, for instance). In the saltchuck they strafe bait just like stripers and blues, sending herring flying from the water. The silver flashes and glittering scales from the massacred baitfish is a sight to see in the aquamarine depths of the pacific northwest sea.
Anyway, as far as that pattern I do have examples tied too large for any flybox, and they can be cast quite easily with the two-handed rod. One in particular had so much feather material that Jay Horton dubbed it the "chicken fly" at the Outer Limits Clave last November.
I do like the idea that if a blue is hooked on a tube, the exposed leader would further from the teeth. Might have to test that theory next season.
The picture is not a good one, but from the end profile it's almost flat. I originated the use of marabou on the extended throat (about the length of the viceral cavity) during it's coho salmon pacific herring imitating roots, which gives it a polly-wog action when wet. It acutally looks fuller wet than dry.
The angel hair is another coho salmon remnant, it's popular stuff out west for SWFF just as it is here for stripers. I don't like to use it for more than a topping due to it's lack of durability and in some situations it's too bright (Monomoy).
Other than my marabou idea it's a bigeye baitfish without the prism leaves, reduced bucktail use (balanced with synthetics) and softex over sticker eyes in front.
Hope that helps!
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