Category Archives: Bonefish Fly

Charlie Has Worms

Charlie Has Worms! This is what happens when you leave a San Juan Worm and a Gotcha locked in a fly box together. Well, my Crazy Charlie got mixed up with a Squirmy Wormy. I ordered some sea anemone aquarium decorations to play around with. I like this material as it has some incredible stretch and doesn’t cut too easily with thread. I use 6/0 thread and haven’t had any slice through. The material has a good stretch and is really durable. The hardest part of the fly is getting the tentacle to sit right. Make sure to tie into the bend and have a look at the tail before you commit to it.

So, the pattern came to me not long ago while tying an order of Squirmy Wormy flies for a client. I found the aquarium sea anemone while searching for more worms and thought it would be worth a try. – (Amazon affiliate link) there are a few different colors, orange, pink, purple, green, yellow and blue. This might also be a good start to a bass or carp fly. I’ll have to keep messing around.

Charlie Has Worms Fly pattern recipe

Hook: Mustad S71SNP-DT #2-8
Thread: Pink Unithread 6/0 (140d)
Eyes: 3.2mm Silver bead chain
Tail: Silicone tentacle
Body: Pearl Flashabou 8-10 strands
Wing: Light pink fox or craft fur
Flash: U.V. pearl ice dubbing

If you like this pattern, check out the Crazy Charlie.


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Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp Saltwater Fly tied by Hans Stephenson

The Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp is one of my favourite patterns for bonefish. The fly can be a little light when using bead chain, so using brass or lead weight up front may be required in order to have the fly turn over properly. The mono eyes can be purchased premade, but if you have some extra monofilament around, just melt the ends to form a ball and Bob’s your uncle. For my eyes, I like to take it a step further and add a coat or two of nail lacquer and a clear top coat of hard as nails. It’s best to get these done well in advance if you plan on coating them so that they have time to cure. I usually prepare a few hundred in advance. I use eyes in black, red, green and pinks.

For the dubbing on the fly, buggy is preferred. I like using a synthetic, or a blend and add a little bit of UV pearl in the mix. Keep the dubbing buggy so the fly has lots of movement. With the long silicone legs on the pattern, the fly gets a lot of attention. You can use the pattern to imitate crayfish as well, just switch up the colors and you are good to go. I tie my Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp is a few variations, tan, gold, white and shrimp pink. Play around with some variations and try them out on the flats.

Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp Fly Pattern Recipe

Hook: Saltwater Size 2-8
Thread: Tan 6/0
Weight: 2.4mm or 3.2mm bead chain eye or brass dumbbell
Tail: Tan Craft fur
Antenee: 2 stands pearl Krystal Flash
Eyes: 20lb mono melted to form eyes
Mouth: Tan rabbit fur
Legs: Silicone or rubber legs
Dubbing: Tan craft fur dubbing or antron

Be sure to check out this and other videos on Hans Stephenson Youtube page and check out The Dakota Fly Angler at


Saltwater Shrimp tied by Ruben Martin

Saltwater shrimp flies are essential to a successful fishing trip to the flats. I’ve been frantically tying saltwater flies for the winter season and I’d like to give this shrimp pattern a good look. A few things to note, first, the epoxy eyes are dipped in a clear glitter nail polish. You’ll want to make sure this completely cures before you box it. The eyes themselves look like a custom job, and I’d love to see how he goes about making them. The fox hair wing and tail(mouth parts) is a favorite material to work with. I prefer it to the much loved craft fur because of the natural randomness it provides and the way it moves in the water. The fly is capped off with a dab of orange paint (eggs?), something I would personally omit. I can’t wait to toss this into some warm brine this winter.

Saltwater Shrimp Fly Pattern

Hook: Standard saltwater ss hook
Thread: 6/0 tan
Tail: Tan fox hair , badger hackle tips
Eyes: bead chain (front) black epoxy eyes (back)
Legs: silicone skirt material
Body: D-rib
Wing: fox hair tan, pearl crystal flash
Head: orange paint

Be sure to check out this and other videos on Ruben Martin’s Youtube page.