At Angling On The Fly, this is one of our favorite flies when pursuing baby Tarpon on the flats and the mangrove channels in the Yucatan. This pattern is very light and enables anglers to make very stealthy presentations on a dead-calm day. It has proven to be the "go-to" fly when the Tarpon are selectively feeding on shrimp. We fish this pattern at Isla del Sabalo, Tarpon Cay Lodge, and Isla Blanca.
"The inspiration for this pattern came from Homer Rhodes and Chico Fernandez' Seaducer and my own Surf Shrimp pattern. I was asked by Marco Ruz Ceballos (co-owner of Yucatan Fly Fishing Adventures) and Keith Kaneko (owner of Angling on the Fly) to design a small pattern for use in the turtle grass flats and mangroves of Isla Arena's "Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve" and San Felipe's "Rio Largartos Biosphere Reserve". The result is the KH Mayan Warrior."
Bait Imitated: generic shrimp and baitfish
KH Mayan Warrior Pattern Recipe:
- Hook: Saltwater #1/0 and #2/0 (examples include Gamakatsu SS15 # 1/0 standard, or Daiichi 2546
- Thread: Yellow (options: olive, dark brown, orange) # 1/0 Flymaster Plus or Kevlar natural yellow
- Mouth: Squirrel Tail, Natural (options: yellow, orange, green)
- Optics: Barbell Mono, large black
- Head: Hare-tron, Golden Brown (options: caddis green, burnt orange)
- Body: 2 Hackles from saddle or cape, trimmed flat top (Options: Grizzly dyed tan, olive, yellow and orange)
- Attach eyes at approximately the 1/3 point of the hook slightly forward of the hook point using a series of figure eight wraps. For durability, you can add a drop of cement or Zap-a-Gap over the thread wraps.
- Clip a bunch of squirrel tail. Tie the hair just behind the eyes extending beyond the tailset position approximately the length of the body of the fly. Fold the butts forward and secure them.
- Dub the head to form a nice taper expanding to the eyes and extending just beyond the eyes on the fly.
- Tie in 2 hackles, shiny side forward, dull side back (wet fly style). Wind each hackle forward to the front of the hook in tightly spaced wraps. Tie off and trim the excess. Clip the barbs on the top of the body to leave a tapered body. Whip finish and glue the head.