HOT FLY for Lake El Salto Largemouth Bass (photo by Bill Carnazzo)
Earlier this month, we had a group of 8 fly anglers return from renowned Anglers Inn at Lake El Salto in Sinaloa, Mexico. The group was hosted by Bill Carnazzo, master fly tyer and fly fishing guide. During this trip, Bill had incredible success with a baby bass pattern he devised for this fishery and its trophy Largemouth Bass that prowl the depths. Bill says that the best retrieve with this fly is a strip-strip-pause sequence, with the bass often inhaling the fly on the drop during the pause. He was fishing the Rio Outbound Short with clear intermediate tip and says that the contrast of the clear intermediate transition to the belly (white color) is the best "indicator" for the subtle grabs. Bill reported that often he never felt the grab, but intently watched the line transition for the soft grab by BIG Bass! Read below for tying recipe and instructions for this highly effective fly.
Recipe for Bill’s Baby Bass
- Hook: Tiemco 800S or similar type, size 1/0 or 2/0
- Thread: White 6/0 Uni-thread or similar type, and then flat waxed white nylon for the head of the fly
- Belly: Pearl Radfloss or similar 3/8” wide mylar ribbon wrapped around shank
- Under-wing: White Superhair or similar product
- Over-wing: Blue-green Superhair or similar product
- Interior flash: Krystal Flash UV pearl color
- Side Flash: Gold Flashabou (fine)
- Topping: Mixture of fine black crystal hair and Krystal Flash UV Herring Back color
- Throat: Red antron yarn
- Eyes: Silver 3/8” 3-D molded eyes
- Head: White flat waxed nylon thread covered with epoxy
- Cover the hook shank with the 6/0 thread from the hook eye to the back end of the barb, leaving the thread behind the eye. At that point tie in an 8” piece of Radfloss or similar 3/8” wide mylar ribbon. Wrap the thread over it to the back end of the barb, and return the thread to the hook eye.
- Wrap the Radfloss forward to a point about 3/8” behind the eye; wrap it rearward in wide wraps, then forward again to achieve a cigar shaped taper. Tie it off and again move the thread to the eye.
- Turn the fly over and tie in a throat of red antron yarn. It should extend rearward only to the point of the hook.
- Return the fly to the upright position and tie in a bunch of Superhair equal to about two pencils width. Begin tying it in just behind the eye, and rearward to that same 3/8” point (where the Radfloss ends). Make sure it is tied in directly on top of the shank, and make adjustments as needed to achieve this goal. Place a tiny drop of superglue on the top of the thread winds.
- Tie in about 12 strands of pearl UV Krystal Flash at the same point by doubling the material around the thread. This will make the interior of the fly come alive. Wrap it down to the rear of the head area.
- Tie in a bunch of blue-green Superhair (same size bunch as white) in the same manner as the white Superhair was tied in.
- Tie in about 12 strands of gold Flashabou in the same manner as the interior flash, except pull ½ of the material down onto either side of the fly. This will form the side flash.
- Tie in about 12 strands of the UV Herring color Krystal Flash. This time tie it down in the middle of the bunch, allowing the front half of the bunch to stick out over the hook eye, with the rear half extending back over the top of the fly.
- Using the same method, tie in a similar bunch of fine black Crystal Flash. Be sure to wrap it down all the way to the back of the eye.
- Whip finish the 6/0 thread and then tie on the flat waxed nylon thread, wrapping a nice even head. Leave the thread at the rear of the head area.
- Take the UV Krystal Flash and the black Crystal Flash that are sticking out over the eye, and pull them tightly rearward. They will mix but that is a good result. Tie them down with a few wraps at the rear of the head and whip finish there. This forms a “stripe” over the top of the head. Place a tiny drop of superglue on top of the head.
- After allowing the superglue time to dry, place the eyes evenly onto the sides of the head.
- Coat the head with a nice coat of epoxy, extending it rearward about 1/8” beyond the end of the head. Place the fly on a rotating dryer and leave it there until the epoxy is firmly set (the setting time will vary with the type of epoxy used).
- If you want to add a weed guard, tie in 30 or 40# Hard mason onto the hook bend before step 2, and finish the weed guard by tying it in just behind the eye, before step 13.
- After the fly is complete and the epoxy is dried, taper the fly by barbering the rear ends of the Superhair material.