Mantis Shrimp Fly

Tie a buggy-profile mantis shrimp imitation to fool big bonefish.

November 28, 2012
Editor’s Note: I’ve always believed that the best flies for big bonefish are those that have some kind of rubber legs and, most importantly, are super buggy.
1) Start the thread at the eye of the hook and wrap mono thread to the bend of the hook. Grab a pencil-diameter bunch of tan EP Fibers and tie in as the tail. Bar the tail with a brown Sharpie and move toward the eye two turns. Turn the fly upside down with hook point up. Select a small clump of burnt orange Finnish Raccoon and pull out guard hairs. Tie in the clump at the bend of the hook to represent the egg sack.
2) Tie in the tip of a Howard Hackle saddle dyed tan, and wrap the thread all the way to the eye of the hook.
3) Apply a small bit of dubbing wax to the thread and take a small clump of tan Hareline Dubbin Polar Dub and lightly and evenly apply it to the thread. Wrap the dubbed thread toward the hook point and stop at the bend in front of the egg sack. Wind the thread back down the shank in order to segment the body.
4) Grab the bottom of the feather and palmer it forward all the way up the body. Without crowding the eye, bring the thread back and tie off the hackle.
5) Take three rubber legs and lay them over the top of the hook. Tie the legs in using figure-eight wraps, and leave equal lengths of legs hanging over each side.
6) Take a small set of tungsten predator eyes (or bead chain for lighter variations) and tie in the eyes using figure-eight wraps on top of the rubber legs. Flip the hook over, and trim the legs so they splay out like a spider, which will give the fly great action in current. Take one small length of 30-pound mono with the curve bending toward the hook point, and tie it in using figure-eight wraps to form a spike-style weed guard. Trim the guard to match the height of the hook point.

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