Front Hook - Daiichi 2052 Alec Jackson Spey, #3.
Thread - Danville’s 210 Denier Waxed Flymaster Plus, White.
Body - Lagartun French Mini-Flatbraid, Pearl.
Rib - Silver Wire, Medium.
Tail - Bucktail, White.
Wing - Bucktail, White.
This is my version of the classic baitfish pattern developed in the 1940s by the great Joe Brooks. It was originally developed as an imaginary saltfly pattern and then became popular as a trout fly when Brooks took it the Lake District of Northern Patagonia, Argentina. I became a fan of the pattern in 2004 when I traveled to the Lake District with some of my closest friends. To properly fish the Bocas of Argentina you need big flies that can be cast long distances, often in terrific winds. From the locals, we learned to use shooting head systems to cast these flies far and take them deep. Sparse bucktail patterns like the blonde don’t soak up water, and are easy to cast because of their slim profile. That profile also perfectly matches the shape of many of the local baitfish. I became a believer in the Blonde on that trip and haven’t stopped fishing it since. I’ve applied the shooting head approach on the big rivers of Montana with excellent results, and have also fished these unweighted flies on shorter sink tips and even with floating lines on smaller rivers, streams, and lakes. I’ve introduced several beginning fly anglers to streamer fishing with the Blonde because it is so easy to cast compared to patterns like the Zonker. My favorite colors are white (Platinum Blonde) and yellow (Honey Blonde) because I can usually see my fly and can watch the fish charge out and take it. Black, olive, olive over white, brown, blue over white (Argentine Blonde), and chartreuse are other good colors. In case you didn't guess, they work on just about any fish that eats other fish.
Follow the pics…
- The naked hook.
- Wrap the hook shank with thread stopping just ahead of the hook point.
- Tie in a clump of buck tail to form the tail. Lash the material down along the entire hook shank, stopping short of the eye. This helps to create a nice uniform body. I usually stop wrapping forward at the point where the hooks loop eye ends. I like to put 4 or 5 wraps around the base of the buck tail fibers, but not around the hook, to help control the tail fibers (inset). This helps prevent the tail fibers from fouling the hook during the cast.
- Tie in the wire and flatbraid. Again, lash them down along the length of the shank to ensure a uniform body thickness.
- Wrap the body with the flatbraid and tie it off.
- Wrap the body with silver wire and tie it off. As you tie it off, try to create a tapered thread base for the wing material rather than an abrupt transition from the body.
- Tie in a clump of buck tail for the wing. To create an indestructible fly and a shapely head make several wraps around the entire clump to hold it in place. Then pull ¼ of the butt ends back and take several wraps in from of them and over the remaining butt ends. Repeat this with the next ¼ of the butt ends until you reach the hooks eye and the tread is in front of all the butts of the bucktail fibers.
- Gather the butts and trim them short. The result should look like the photo, with the trimmed butts distributed along the length of the fly’s head.
- Wrap back over the trimmed butts to form a shapely head. Whip finish and cement.