I come from a standard gear background.
Casting and spinning rods were my “thing” until, three years ago, I
finally saw the light and turned fly fishing into a huge passion. Because
of my background, I am often trying to make flies that imitate the lures I
used during my pre fly fishing years. One of my old favorites is the soft
plastic jerkbait – often just called a Fluke. The action of this bait
drives smallies crazy! So when I began to tie, I was often fooling with
long streamers that could best match the action of the fluke. My first few
attempts were feeble, but I kept trying. Then I discovered a tying
material called Body Fur. Body Fur is made by a few different companies.
Cascade Crescent Tool company is one supplier of this neat material. After
playing with body fur for a while and tweaking different designs, I came
up with the completed Graham’s Ghost fly.
The fly is lightly weighted with wire wrap and I fish it just like I used
to fish the old Fluke with the spinning rod. I normally throw it on a seven-weight rod with either standard Clouser floating line or Rio Streamer Tip
line. When it comes to leaders, I have tried many different set-ups and
have found them all to be acceptable. Straight, untapered leaders, furled
leaders with a short tippet section of mono, and regular tapered leaders
all work well. I fish the fly with very short, quick strips, which causes
the fly to dart just under the surface of the water. I am sure a fly
fisherman could fish the fly deeper using sinking line or a standard,
heavy sink tip. I fish it near the surface because I just love to watch a
smallmouth rise and crush the fly.
Here are the tying instructions:
Hook: Tiemco 8089NP #6 or #10 (#6 is my standard size)
Thread: 6/0 Uni Thread
Wire: .20 lead or lead substitute
Tail: Bucktail (any color you desire),
Icelandic sheep wool (optional step),
Collar: Ice fur or marabou
CCT Body Fur (regular size)
Eyes: Boss true vision 3D eyes
Markers: Sharpies or Prismacolor
Adhesives: 5 minute epoxy (for eye attachment),
Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails (thread sealer)
1. Build up a thread base all the way along the shank of the hook
2. Attach bucktail right in front of the bend of the hook. Make sure the
tail extends about 3.5 inches back beyond the hook. (For a size 6)
3. Attach six to eight strands of crystal flash on top of the bucktail.
The crystal flash should be the same length as the bucktail.
4. Attach a section of Icelandic Sheep Hair the same length as the
bucktail (this step is optional)
5. Next, tie in about 8-12 strands of flashabou. Tie it in at the same
exact location of the previous two materials. Make sure it is long enough
that it extends back the same length as the previous materials, AND IT
EXTENDS ABOUT AN INCH IN FRONT OF YOUR TIE DOWN POINT. You will fold that
extra inch back in a later step.
6. Now, for the collar of the fly use ice fur or marabou. Cut two equal
sections of materials that measure a little less than an inch. Secure them
to both sides of the fly, right in front of where you tied all your tail
materials. When you have them secured, they should measure about ˝ inch
beyond the bend of the hook.
7. Now, go back to that section of flashabou that is extending from the
tie-in point up toward the eye of the hook. Bend back that section and tie
it in right where you were tying in the ice fur/marabou. This will be like
a little top “fin”. This top fin should be around 1 inch long.
8. Now you are ready to build the head. First, tie in your body fur right
in front of your collar material and leave it for now. About six to eight
inches of body fur will ensure that you don’t run out while you are
9. Tie in about a 6 inch section of chenille right in front of the body
fur. Move your thread to just in front of the eye.
10. Wrap one layer of chenille from the tie in point up to just in front
of the hook eye. This chenille will not be seen when the fly is finished.
It is only there to provide bulk and make a fuller head in the end. Tie
off the chenille and leave the thread right there.
11. Now, wrap your body fur forward. Make sure that each wrap is RIGHT in
front of the previous wrap. Also, make sure when you wrap that each
successive wrap is pointing slightly back. You want the head to be “full”.
12. When you get right in front of the hook eye, tie off the body fur,
clip off the extra and whip finish the thread.
13. Now, it is time for the scissors. Trim the sides of the body fur very
short. Then, only slightly trim the top and bottom.
14. Attach eyes using 5 minute epoxy. Make sure to liberally apply a good
dab of epoxy in the spot where the eyes will affix. As the epoxy is
setting up, keep pushing the eye into the body fur.
15. Normally, I like to take Sharpie or Prismacolor markers and make the
top of the fly a darker color. Of course, this is optional. The Body Fur
does take the marker color quite well. In addition, many times when you
color the top you will get a slightly different color than the color of