By Zach Lazzari
Saltwater flies are often constructed with a simple but elegant design. Sparse materials, specific colors of flash and perfect material placement to swim and hold the position of a natural baitfish, crab or other common food source.
After playing in the salt for the last month with a bunch of different fly patterns, a few simple classics have become my go-to staples. They are fairly simply to tie and they work exceptionally well for a variety of species. The ability to crossover between species is a major plus. In some cases however, a little specificity is necessary.
This simple pattern is crazy productive. The flashy body and simple design looks like a shrimp but is also just plain attractive. While the materials and tying are about as easy as you will find, they also lend well to creating variations.
Adjust the colors, use different materials for the wing and play with flash to build unique combinations. My current favorite is an orange thread body covered with pearl flash and a sparse, white bucktail wing. I add a few strands of red Krystal Flash to the bucktail as well.
This pattern can pull bonefish and permit off the flats and it fishes really well around structure for triggerfish, cabrilla, corvina, etc. It’s an all around winner.
Lefty Kreh created a massive legacy in the fly fishing community and his Deceiver pattern is one of those flies that will always be a staple in the saltwater box. It crosses over to freshwater streamer fishing equally well.
The beauty of the deceiver is the simple design and the way it swims. The pattern is primarily constructed from a few saddle hackles and bucktail. Add flash or customize as desired. In the water, you will immediately notice how the fly dives and darts like a baitfish. I really like fishing this fly on a sink tip. The pattern is unweighted and the tip will help penetrate the first few feet of water quickly. It will catch just about anything in the salt as well.
My box has a row of Clouser’s located right next to the Deceivers. Bob Clouser created this pattern and it’s also a cinch to tie. Numerous variations exist and you can play with color combinations all day. My favorites are pink over white or chartreuse over white.
I prefer heavy eyes to fish these deep on a sink tip or on a floating line. They will catch nearly every species that swims. I use them everywhere from Montana rivers to the surf in Mexico.
You will find quite a few variations on this one. I tend towards the simple version with a bucktail and flash body half covered with mylar tubing. I don’t even epoxy the body but you can for a really slick finish. The Surf Candy is heavy on flash and it works as a realy attention grabber.
When a fish or group of fish are difficult to move, try throwing this on their way. I really like olive over white or black over white but color variations should be adapted to fit the baitfish colors in your region.
Recommended Fly Rods
Our Tremor saltwater fly rods are designed by Dennis Klein and our U.S. team to handle high winds and to shoot line with incredible accuracy. This rod is a true flats fishing monster. The rod loads well down into the tip section, creating an action that’s comfortable to cast, even on long days on a skiff. The best part? Mystic’s direct to consumer price model means you don’t pay retail markup. Why pay $900 for a top-teir saltwater rod? Learn more about our Tremor Saltwater Series.