Thursday, March 13, 2014

Snowhite Shad Fly Tutorial - It needs a name

First off I have no clever name for this fly. My daughter wants to call it 'Buster' after her other favorite mini schnauzer Buster40K (look for him and his brudder Bolter on social media). If you think the 'Shad Buster' name is good, please leave a comment.

Its a relatively simply fly to tie, super bright, and it works. The stretch magic is a clear material that will allow the fly to take on what ever color you use as a base layer of thread.

This fly follows my three rules for shad flies;
  1. bright and shiny
  2. 1" long
  3. short tail.

  • Size 4-8 hook (I prefer Saber from Flyshack)
  • Stretch magic (1.5mm) from your local craft store or V-Rib from a fly shop
  • Flashabou
  • Large beaded chain size #10
  • Bright thread (I prefer Orvis G thread) Orange, chartruse (can't ever spell that), and hot pink.


 Start your thread and get those dumbell eyes started. I like to put them about 1/4" behind the eyes. They will move up anyway based on how this fly is tied. So don't put them too close!
 Cut flashabou or similar material's bag so that only 1" of material sticks out. This will ensure that all tails are the same length and that you will use the same amount of material making your tying and your purchase more efficient.
 Tie in flash material behind the eyes. Start wrapping back to the bend of the hook and then forward again.
 Note: wraps don't have to be complete. You will cover this up later.

 Once  you get to the eyes you'll need a piece of the stretch magic. Cut about 7"-8".

Place stretch magic behind the eyes and start wrapping back toward the bend of the hook. Try to make clean wraps and completely cover the stretch magic.
 Time to double back. This time ensure that all magic is covered. If you tie enough of these you will go through a lot of thread.
 Start wrapping the stretch magic up to the eyes.
 Once you get to the eyes be sure to do at least 1-2 additional wraps tightly behind the eyes. This will eventually move your eyes forward a bit but it will tighten up the other wraps and close any gaps.
 Bring that magic over the eyes and wrap the thread to secure, trip the tag end.
 Almost done.
 I like a dollup of Clear Cure Goo hydro or clear nail polish to ensure the wraps are locked. This fly up here will be smacking a lot of rocks.
 Use that UV light. I like my new one from BuzzFly
 There you have it. A shad (buster) fly.

This fly is made to mimic the shiners and minnows that flood the river during the shad run to gorge themselves on shad eggs. The adult shad either attack these small fish because they are angry that the fish are in their way while spawning or they are being aggressive to protect their eggs.

Don't be surprised if you end up with American shad, hickory shad, gizzard shad, white perch, yellow perch, black crappie, needlefish, channel catfish, river herring,  bluegill, largemouth, smallmouth, and what ever else may be in the depths.



This is awesome! Shad Buster it is!! Thank you, pixie!! Love, Buster & Bolter

I picked up this pattern from Rob's tutorials before this past shad season... it's now ALL I use. Incredibly productive pattern! I mainly do pink, but like in Rob's picture, I do a few in a lime green as well. Keep up the great work Rob!

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