Although the color scheme looks like a Vegas bordello, this is a good searching pattern in May and June. With mostly natural materials, it’s designed to be fished with an erratic retrieve—jerks that start abruptly, then slow down. The glass eyes, lighter than lead and heavier than plastic, allow it to undulate like the natural. Elliot Carson, who used to work at Red Top, taught me this fly in a course at the old Wellesley Outdoor Store. You can tie it in all white or all pink and use dark and light pink markers to speckle the tail. A simpler version, the Squid Flash, tied by Tom Kintz, appears on pps. 105-106 of Bob Veverka’s Innovative Salt Water Flies.
Hook Mustad 34011 (long shank), 1/0 or 2/0
Tail 6-8 long saltwater hackles, pink and white and 6 shorter hackles, also pink and white
Rear Collar Pearl Lite-brite and white bucktail
Body Pearl Estaz 10-12 inches
Flash Pink and pearl flashabou
Eyes Clear glass taxidermist’s eyes on metal posts—10mm or large
Thread White flat waxed nylon or mono
1. Sharpen the hook (it’s a Mustad) and crimp the barb if you’re so inclined. Insert in the vise shank up.
2. Begin the wrap above the point and tie in a couple of strands of flashabou doubled back so they ends are about 3-4 inches beyond the hook. Cement
3. Tie in 3 long hackles, curving outward, one on top of the shank, and the other two offset 120 degrees (i.e. if the top hackle is at noon, tie in the other two at 4 and 8 o’clock.). Cement
4. Tie in the other three long hackles at the bottom of the shank (6 o’clock) and again offset at 2 and 10 o’clock. Cement. Try to keep the hackle ties, both long and short, well back on the hook above the barb in order to create a long body.
5. Wrap the tie with the collar of lite-brite and tie in a hood of white bucktail to hold the tail back. Add a few more strands of flashabou on either side. Cement.
6. Repeat the hackle alternation with the shorter hackles, first at 12, 4 and 8, then 2, 6 and 10 o’clock. I typically use more pink in the long section and more white in the shorter section. Cement.
7. Cut the eye shanks to ½-3/4 of an inch and bend the shank right at the back of the eye. Tie the eyes in as far back above the hook as possible. Cement well.
8. Wind the thread up to the hook eye and tie in the Estaz. Wind the Estaz back along the shank and around the eyes. Reverse direction and wind back to the hook eye.
9. Tie off and trim the Estaz tag, whip finish, and cement.