Aug 28 -
Tied them (8-9 inches) humongous for the rip trips, where they kicked butt. Used pearl green flashabou between the semi-clear white body and the olive green semi-clear back (instead of on top). This drastically increased durability of the flash material even after many fish.
Choosing the right synthetic hair is important - don't bother with the fine stuff for a sand eel pattern. The fine stuff gets destroyed by fish when long strands are used. Can't recall the brand at the moment but it's not the super stiff hair either. I use the very common fishhair, ultra hair, or other branded name stuff. Pull the strands from the center, then from the center of the center to create the tapered look.
I have really come to like the plastic ribbon with the chrome inlay. To start the wrap around the hook shank, do the salmon fly trick. Cut the ribbon at a sharp angle and tie the point in. Then when you wrap the ribbon it forms a natural spiral toward the front of the fly. Wrap up to the eyes, which once again should be the brand "Real Eyes". These have a recessed eye socket and the sticker eyes can be applied without glue. If you use the back end of a bodkin to press into the socket you won't lose the eyes even though there is no glue. I haven't lost a fly eye yet this way.
It's best if the eye is tied in first to help secure the end of the ribbon as you trim it to shape. I usually trim to the topside to hide the end under the flash and subsequent olive back material.
Tie the eye far enough back to form a snout-like appearance. If you tie the eye in too close it gets a snubby look and incorrect proportion. Fill the 'snout' a little with the white thread before tying in the flash and the back (olive) with medium fine monofilament thread. A drop of zap-a-gap on the body wrap and the head assembly (eyes, snout, etc) secures the whole thing, or if you care to bother use epoxy to protect the silver abdominal spiral and eyes.
I use epoxy on smaller sized versions and omit it on larger. I also tie some of these flies with a long shank tiemco 911s for smaller sizes to extend the spiral wrap body for a greater percentage of the fly length.
Smaller deep eels are great bonito and albie flies. I handed a couple to GregD who will attest to their attraction to the bonito he and his son landed last August, and I've landed many myself on both bright and moderately subdued versions of this fly.