Baitfish-X: Fly Tying Tutorial

With the high flows in Central PA, I decided to spend my time filling my boxes with some reliable smallmouth patterns that always get the job done. In hoping for shallower waters and cruising smallmouth, I tied up one of my favorite baitfish patterns, Baitfish-X.

This is a great baitfish pattern for summertime smallmouth on the fly rod. The inspiration for this pattern came from two patterns in particular, the Murdich Minnow and Brian Shumaker’s Shimmering Minnow. It is very simple to tie, and even easier to fish: you can dead drift it, strip it, or twitch it.

Being a weightless streamer, it works best in shallow water suspended under the surface, however it is just as effective with an intermediate sinking line or sink tip. Feel free to add lead wraps under the chenille to add some weight, or mix it up and add a FishSkull baitfish helmet for extra weight.

It can be tied in a number of different color combinations to imitate a vast array of baitfish for any body of water. This baitfish is a blank canvas that gives you a lot of room to get creative and pull out your pack of Sharpies and color away.

Material List:

  • Thread: Veevus 140 Neon Green
  • Hook: Partridge Attitude Extra Sz. 2
  • Tail 1: White Bucktail
  • Tail 2: Olive SF Blend
  • Flash: Emerald Flashabou
  • Body: Medium Pearl Palmer Chenille
  • Eyes: 3/16″ Oval Pupil Eyes Pearl/Black Pupil
  • Resin: Loon UV Thick and UV Flow

How I fish it:

  • Rod: 9ft 8 wt
  • Line: 8 wt shooting head OR intermediate full sinking line
  • Leader: 9 ft 1x-3x leader

Tight Lines! -Max

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