We’ve all heard the story about the guy poling the boat who gives the angler on the deck one more chance before he graciously steps up and demonstrates “how it’s done.” More often than not, when the rod switches hands, the boastful angler catches the fish. Is it luck?
However, I believe confidence plays a much more critical role in angling success than most people might think. The Bahama Mama stemmed from this very concept.
A few years back, I took a trip to Belize armed with every Crazy Charlie variation known to man. With each bonefish encounter, right before I shot the line to make my presentation, I would catch myself thinking, Man, there’s no way that fish is ever going to see this fly. Please find it… please see it. I truly think a lack of confidence in the visual aspect of the flies I was using showed in the overall success of my trip.
Shortly after, I was on a tying binge preparing for a trip to the Bahamas. Once again, my box was filled to the brim with Charlies, Gotchas and other classic bonefish patterns. I happened to add some Silly Legs to about a half-dozen of my Charlies to give them a little more presence in the water – and took them fishing.
Isn’t it funny how much confidence one can have in a fly after catching only one fish on it? After a few more, I had all the confidence in the world in my new Charlie variation, and I saw no reason to switch flies for the duration of my trip. At the end of it, I dubbed the fly the Bahama Mama – after the nearly hallucinogenic rum punch.
Step 1: On the top of the shank, attach the eyes just as you would for a Crazy Charlie or Clouser Minnow about 1/8 inch from the eye of the hook.
Step 2: Tie in the Silly Legs down the entire shank of the hook all the way to the bend. Use the thread to level out the shank, which makes for a much more attractive body.
Step 3: Attach the orange Diamond Braid at the bend of the hook. Make two complete wraps, and tie it off.
Step 4: Tie in the pearl Diamond Braid directly in front of the orange. Wrap all the bead-chain eyes and all the way around to the eye of the hook.
Step 5: Take a white standard cut magnum Zonker strip and snip a good amount of fur all the way down to the hide. Pull out any unwanted underfur and attach right behind the eye of the hook. Finish off the head and coat with head cement and you are ready to go!