Paul’s Sand Eel
(a.k.a. the fly most of which originated from Kenny Abrames)
Hook: Mustad #34007 or salt water hook of preference, size #1.
Thread: Clear monofilament. The head of the fly is tied with flat waxed white thread.
Tail: Approximately 20 white bucktail hairs, topped by 4 strands of holographic tinsel, topped by a thin yellow saddle hackle, topped by a thin olive grizzly hackle, topped by a thin white grizzly hackle.
Body: Pearlescent mylar tubing. Coated with 5 minute epoxy.
Eyes: 3D eyes. Coated with 5 minute epoxy.
I have been tying this fly for so many years I had forgotten where I got it. With a little investigation I discovered it probably originated as Kenny Abrames’ Eely fly pattern. Way back when, in the early 90’s, Ken’s book ‘Striper Moon’, his perspective on fly fishing techniques, and his flies, were the ‘buzz’ of the salt water fly fishing world. I’ve modified his fly in a number of ways. I’ve added a little flash to the tail. Also, I coat the body with epoxy for durability. It also makes the body more translucent with the darker trailing feathers on top. Finally, I’ve added eyes to the fly. Some may argue that the eyes and the epoxy have a negative impact on the movement and fluidity of the fly, but it’s worked for me. With sand eels sometimes “thin is in”. This fly has been a great producer for me throughout the years. Most recently I fished it in Puerto Rico and had great luck with it for non-striper species.
Begin by starting your thread behind the hook eye and wrap back to the bend. Tie in your white bucktail. I usually tie it in right behind my hook eye and wrap it down to the bend. The bucktail should extend approximately 2 ½ times the length of the hook shank beyond the bend. Tie in your holographic flash the same way but extend it an additional half inch beyond the bucktail. Next, top the tail with a thin yellow saddle hackle. It should also extend a half inch beyond your bucktail. Top that with a thin grizzly olive saddle hackle. Top that with a white grizzly saddle hackle. Bring your clear mono thread up behind the hook eye. Whip finish and tie it off. Cut a piece of mylar tubing the length of the hook shank. Slip it over the hook eye and onto the hook shank. Bind it down behind the hook eye with flat waxed white thread. Also, form a small head upon which you will affix your 3D eyes. Coat the body and the eyes with 5 minute epoxy. The most important thing to remember with this pattern is to keep it thin. Experiment with what works best for you. Try different sizes and colors. I think you’ll find it to be an indispensible addition to your salt water fly box.
Below is a brief video on how to tie this Flat Wing Sand Eel:
If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a pattern of the month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .