Fishing for predatory fish, a baitfish imitation is never a bad choice. Most predatory will fish will of course eat any prey available. My biggest saltwater sea trout for in stance caught on a #10 gammarus, but all predatory fish will eat other fish.
And baitfish imitations are a good choice for very active fishing, covering lots of water, fast retrieves etc., which is often a good trigger for predators.
I often get the comment that “they take so long time to tie”. And yes, some of the really nice ones do. 2-3-4-5 materials on the hook, 2-3-4 materials in the wing, eyes, UV-resin or epoxy and finish work and often 20 minutes have passed by. I don’t mind spending 20 minutes on a fly, because often these baitfish flies are quite durable.
Most modern baitfish flies owe a debt of gratitude to Bob Popovics’ Surf Candy, whom I believe was the first to use epoxy in baitfish imitations.
However - there are modern alternatives. The fly in the PoD takes 5 minutes to tie, and it just as durable. In fact, in some ways even more, because it’s a tube fly, which you simply change the hook if it’s damaged.
That’s one reason for tying it on a tube, but the main reason is the easy and very versatile weighting system that goes with these tubes.
First of all, the tubes in come with built in weight (a sink 2 and a sink 4). On these - and on the unweighted tubes - you can then add FlexiWeights to suit your fishing depth. This one is just lightly weighted to break the surface tension instantly. A little weight is also helpful in straightening the leader in the wind. From just a little you can go heavier in different steps using bigger FlexiWeights or other weights systems that also fit this tube. The FlexiWeight-system is good for flies like these, because it comes in silver, which then also imitates the belly of the baitfish and adds weight in one go.
And since the fly literally can be tied in 5-6 minutes it’s fast easy to tie a selection in different weights. And they can easily be cast on a 6-wt.
This type of baitfish in becoming a favourite of mine, not least because the very same tying can be adapted to imitate almost any baitfish. Lately a friend has had great succes fishing them in smaller, slighter “fatter” versions for stickleback-eating browns!
For those interesting the tying w/ external links to the tubesystem is listed below.
Have a great weekend! Lars
Tube: Pro Sportfisher NanoTube.
Weight: Pro Sportfisher FlexyWeight - in this case XS.
Wing and fasle hackle: White DNA Holo Fusion.
Overwing: Iceabou (a permanent marker on the white DNA would have done just as well).
Head: Pro Sportifsher SoftHead XS.
Eyes: Pro Sportfisher Cool Eyes, 4mm, fixed with a drop of UV resin in the socket of the Soft Head.
Add a Pro Sportfisher HookGuide and a single tube fly hook, and you’re in business.