I have been fly tying stuff onto hooks for a long time. It began with poppers and jig heads, which served the fishing I was taught to do by my father. By the age of twelve, I was approaching burn out from fishing the warm water mud pit impoundments of central Arkansas. Dear ol` Dad saved me, though, when he took me on a float trip on the White River in northern Arkansas. It has taken all the years since to get enough fur and feather into my bloodstream to achieve the level of addiction I now have for fly fishing, and tying. I justify my habit by tying at conclaves and other events, from coast to coast. I am proud to be a Proteam member for Whiting Farms and on the Pro Staff for Daiichi. It is always good to use the best. I own and operate Tanfly, LLC from my home in Little Rock.
Have fun and tie one on for me!
Also: It catches everything and anything, salt and fresh. Used a lot for smallmouth bass and large trout.
Hook: Daiichi salmon fly hooks size 3/0 down to size 10
Thread: Clear Mono
Eyes: Barbell or bead chain (he uses Wapsi “Real Eyes”)
Tag: Holographic Tinsel wound down the hook bend and back up
Body: Pine squirrel zonker palmered to just behind the eye.
Collar: Whiting Spey feather, as many wraps as you can get.
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I ran across Reece’s Masked Bandit streamer, thinairangler.com and Bob Reece’s other fly patterns via an article on fly tying efficiency posted on Gink & Gasoline. Bob, a commercial fly tyer and guide has some great looking patterns and also produces fly pattern kits for for a number of his signature fly patterns. The kits are well packaged and include the materials need to tie 3 flies. It is a good way to get a pattern without needing to spend a bundle on the needed materials.
The Reece’s Masked Bandit uses a new Hardline product called Ripple Ice Flash, a fiber that combines flash and kink. The material is versatile and has a number of useful applications and a wide range of colours to choose from. The fly is tied on a short shank Gamakatsu Octopus hook, so much of the material extends out past the hook. This makes it a good candidate for aggressive striking fish. I might want to also try out this pattern tied on a short 25mm shank with a trailer hook in case you find the fly is getting short strikes.
Reece’s Masked Bandit fly pattern recipe
Hook: Gamakatsu octopus #4
Thread: 6/0 matched to zonker
Flash: Ripple Ice Fiber (Hareline)
Tail: Pine squirrel zonker
Collar: Pine squirrel zonker
Head: Flymen Fish Mask w/ Living Eyes – Earth
Youtube Channel: Bob Reece
Youtube Video: Reece’s Masked Bandit fly pattern