RE:Recipe For Fly At Top of Stony Brook Clave Link?
Hi Fred -
There is a wide variance in the overall dimensions of hook brands but from a Tiemco / Daichi perspective, I use the same hook sizes with an occasional #1 or #2 hook for skinny flats work and an occasional 4/0 rip monster. For the most part, I use 2/0 and 3/0 because even schoolies aren't hook shy most of the time.
That being the case, it's also how the fly is dressed - in terms of length, quantity of material, eye size, etc. As you know I like to tie them so there is so much air resistance introduced by the materials that it has no clouser feel at all when casting. Because we're tossing 8-10 wt rods, they can be cast easily. The slender profile of the fly is just right for balancing the dumbell eyes with material this way and is one of the biggest differentiators between the deep sand eel and it's partial predecessor the deep minnow from Mr.Clouser - no recoil. Well, actually the tying progression is different too, materials, forage represented, proportions, etc - but in the end it's a derivative of the clouser minnow with some of it's slignshot effect tweaked out and applied directly to one of the northeast's principle forage species.
But I digress, the colors...
The two extremes of coloring this fly are "barely visible" and "loud and proud".
When fishing them off Chatham for pig bass in open water, leaning toward the full and naturally colored ones makes sense. If you look in the water sand eels are a brilliant emerald color in open water, sides gleaming, etc.
When fishing a dog day afternoon on Monomoy in July, I am fishing flies in the 4-6" range but tied with materials that just suggest a worthy profile in (on) the sand. Any flash is angel hair weaved into synthetic near-clear materials that are just a tone off the sand tone.
Two variations are root beer and olive, buried sand eels can sometimes be as brown as coffee with cream. Even then there is usually a light chartreuse streak between the dark back and the silvery flanks and the eye, albeit small, is prominent.
I layer the colors to be clear white on the bottom, transitioning to either a pearl flashabou or silver angel hair weave into the ultrahair in the middle, then a hint of chartreuse before an emerald or rainbow angel hair weave into olive ultrahair for the back.
Clear as could be on bottom, a few sparse strands of pearl or silver weaved in but not necessary into the main core, then a layer of a very subtle seafoamy green color I've found once in a rare while (and I buy out the peg). The test is to lay it on a piece of sand colored rug to see if it's subtle, yet suggestive - not at all loud.
80 percent of the deep eels I tie are somewhere in between the two extremes, which will get you through most days - even on the flats.
Let's do some tying together this season Fred! The spring NE clave comes to mind.