Craft Fur Sand Eel
Hook: Mustad 34007 Size #2 hook (or Size #1 Short Shank Salt Water Hook).
Thread: Uni-Thread White.
Belly: White Craft Fur.
Wing: Chartreuse Craft Fur (I recommend also tying it in olive).
Flash/Lateral Line: 2 Strands of Pearl Flash-a-bou over which is 2 Strands of Silver Flash-a-bou.
Body: Small Pearl Mylar Tubing.
Eyes: 3 D eyes or molded eyes.
Body Finish: Epoxy, or UV Resin, or 2 coats of Finger Nail Polish.
This fly has landed me a lot of fish, especially when fished in tandem with a heavier anchor fly. It’s also evolved somewhat. Years ago, the quality of Craft Fur was poor to fair. Today there are many ‘Extra Select’ craft fur materials on the market. It’s far superior to what was previously available. This is a fly you ‘must’ have when you fish the salt in New England. I tie them in Chartreuses & White and Olive & White. I also tie it in Tan & White with Root beer flash – It makes a great Albi Fly!
To tie this fly start your thread a little behind the eye. Take 6-8 wraps back toward the bend and cut off the tag end. Next, clip a 1” square of White Craft Fur from the backing. Pull out all the ‘underfur’ and trim the butt end off square. Place the butt ends on top of the hook shank above your tying thread. Take a few tight wraps, then push the Craft Fur down with your finger nail to make sure it surrounds the hook shank. Take some more wraps to lock the Fur in place.
You are now going to repeat this procedure by clipping a 1” square of Chartreuse Craft Fur from the backing. Pull out the ‘underfur’. Measure it against the White Craft Fur Belly. You want it to be the same length. Cut the butt ends to length and tie it on top of the White Belly. Take tight wraps to bind down the White Belly and Chartreuse Wing. Even out your tie in points, then make a 3 or 4 turn ‘whip finish’.
To add some flash to the fly, use 2 strands of Pearl Flash-a-bou. Find the mid-point of the strands and bind them down at your tying thread. Take wraps to secure it so that you have 2 strands on each side of the fly. They should be the length of your fly. Now take 2 strands of Silver Flash-a-bou and repeat the process.
Now cut a little more than an inch of mylar tubing for your body. Some mylar tubing comes with a corded material in the center. Remove it. Slip the tubing over the hook shank. It will begin to fray a little bit at the rear of the fly. This is perfectly fine. Take your tying thread while pulling back on the tubing with your finger to expose the hook shank behind the eye. Secure your thread to the hook shank. Snip off the tag. Squeeze and bring the tubing forward a little bit and capture it with your tying thread. Secure it to the hook shank. Make secure wraps to make sure all the mylar strands are pinned down. Make a 4 or 5 turn ‘whip’ finish then snip off your tying thread.
You are now going to affix your eyes. Apply a drop of Zap-a-gap gel (or favorite adhesive) to each side of the hook shank right behind your thread wraps. Apply the eyes. You are now going to apply your body finish of choice. You can use a variety of finishes. UV resin, Epoxy, or a couple of applications of nail polish. I’m a little bit old school and use Epoxy for my finish.
Postfly has a great instructional video on how to tie this fly below:
If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of The Month I can be reached at email@example.com .