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I never had the chance to meet BFD one on one.  My only interactions were on SOL and I got to see him demonstrate the Betsy at Bears Den.  BFD and I had some great discourse about when he used to fish the night shift earlier in life for very similar reasons to mine.  So I decided to name this fly variant I created the "BFD Midnight Special".

A4330AFB-17D1-49D9-A04A-0115BA6AA066.jpeg.ae7d8d6f6e57dc31f83af81a0a1fa349.jpegD892827D-AED4-4324-BDD3-EAF8B77EAF05.jpeg.17b0fbf7b8afbdc75f857fc759ef0720.jpeg

 

This fly is a variation of Rich Murphy's Conomo Special.  I add foam inside the head to give the fly neutral buoyancy so its suspends.  Balancing the materials for suspension is tricky, but the good news is it will still catch fish if it sinks.  I found adding eyes with UV resin makes it just a bit to heavy and defeats suspending action so fly has no eyes.   This fly is as close to a 5" black sluggo as I have been able to manage for action.  The mesh head displaces the right amount of water while still being aerodynamic enough to cast far.  The sparse Squimpish hair body/tail has great movement in turbulence behind mesh head as well as sheds all water on first false cast for distance casting.  

 

Materials are:

Hook: Tiemco TMC600SP 1/0

Hair: Squmpish Boutique Blends Purple

Body Tubing: EZ Body, Size Large, Color Peacock

Foam: Black 5/16" live body foam cylinder 

Thread: Black Danville 140 Denier waxed flymaster plus or fine clear mono tying thread.

E98B7F24-669A-4B92-9CCA-172B48B4131F.jpeg.e877ff495e1dcc01a5b2adc2de541849.jpeg823DAC82-292D-4501-B08B-8CD553CC6070.jpeg.582f6f8de13ba6975f1424fce76c41e7.jpegC514B5AE-7EF5-4603-9BA8-66ACD8F0D96E.jpeg.03c44bec831744abd21ae5ff4abdd5a6.jpeg0937ABD0-8C03-4EC2-9728-23C258ABAE66.jpeg.6a6497b3955565333bd5b2c6cad4080b.jpeg

 

Step 1: Build thread base on hook ending with thread at back of barb or at begining of hook bend

8439F6D8-E107-474E-A784-F4F2DA70DF05.jpeg.cad3b53810d1d04e44e2b9bd7a1b7573.jpeg

 

Step 2: Select a 4" taped section of Squimpish purple blend and tie in as tail on top of hook shank

8D064385-8B20-49B3-B70E-302EF26DE065.jpeg.330888ee45a8d303fb1315265e54616f.jpegB6563709-5DAA-4658-BB02-C6D4EAF9D0E3.jpeg.20219d376a0716730db804ba78c9139e.jpeg

 

Step 3: Cut 1 1/4" section of large peacock EZ body then tie on top of tail tie in.

36C775CE-6009-4EAB-9DB7-66B3DF4E155A.jpeg.88552637cd9e10d8ed1ffb71f38c1476.jpeg3B7CB7D9-BF99-4BD5-B459-0F352317E405.jpeg.8075c6422cebf54090c4b1835855f069.jpeg

 

Step 4: Secure all thread wraps for tail and mesh with UV Resin/Softex/Super Glue tiers choice on adhesive.

462EA64E-8E27-4ABE-AA42-098EACB2D5A5.jpeg.4360991751506d1a265f5eab997bbecb.jpeg

 

Step 5: Cut thread and form spreader cone folding mesh tubing back on itself.

0ADAA7EF-E4CB-44D1-BAA4-195A208A0352.jpeg.49684fb6b804d4ce75fcfd6df16e9197.jpeg

 

Step 6: Reattach thread to shank stop 1/8" from mesh tie in point.  Slide mesh forward enough to slide thread into fibers and take two lose wraps before cinching tubing onto hook shank.  Then wrap all the way until you hit other tubing tie in point.  Secure thread with three half hitches before adding any more materials.

37235A3A-DD59-49D3-9FF6-0C9E948AFA92.jpeg.f85ecb9145e3f981b0285aaae8d6c169.jpeg

 

AEA06F67-7B3F-44D9-A25C-B9A0FE1E3186.jpeg.e1b30586e3b9e6e483c88e41dfdba2ce.jpeg**Trick to grab tubing cut small slit into top of tubing and pull thread up into notch to help grab into material to cinch and secure to hook shank.DB1ED682-B604-4ADF-B7C8-968A285BCCBF.jpeg.927c23eab36f1d906df2c14550811896.jpeg

Make sure spreader is a nice round cone shape before adding resin or softex.  Adjust shape with fingers as needed.

D94CD34C-6B35-481E-9B8B-C68C11632B2F.jpeg.88e018928a375a3e517ffb6f8d3e5e0c.jpeg

 

Step 7: Coat thread and mesh tubing in softex and let air dry.   If you want faster drying adhesive use UV Flex or Tuffleye Flex for hardening spreader cone.  I prefer Softex for almost all my EZ Body coating work except adding eyes to mesh.

0B428918-9A8B-45CF-8C05-32483F90C767.jpeg.0dd0cb1c8b4214252714187092e657d9.jpeg5FA900B1-F22E-4E43-BF62-76C94F5CB707.jpeg.562579a1480e8d97bf102b000e2722db.jpeg

Step 8: Cut two 3.5" Squimpish Purple Blend sections.  Distribute first material clump sparsely around upper half of spreader.  Turn hook upside down then tie in second clump and distribute sparsely.  use two lose wraps to hold materials then work them around shank and spreader with fingers.  Once distribution is right tightly thread wrap back tight to base of spreader.  Secure with two or three half hitches before moving to foam work.  Add softex or UV thin resin to thread to secure it permanently to shank and hold materials in place.  

8CF56CE7-ACA8-4186-BC68-F4C8E20A3F16.jpeg.bebe2415264c2e068cc765d5c2335b19.jpeg22BB2972-470D-4493-8EBF-5CBC22FC571B.jpeg.cac28a1e9da5a366b33101b465f1a95d.jpeg95EB1F56-0680-4685-960C-DD8A386FC71D.jpeg.0129ff4a75cc23e445900e371d0f3c2c.jpegD018E24A-A43F-4E39-A38E-BDB5DA421F55.jpeg.48cc19794541158a81ee986abe6eb29e.jpeg

 

Step 9: Cut a 1/2" long piece of 5/16" LBF cylinder.  Then cut in half length wise.  

85159736-0E01-4A06-9BC5-10B523C63157.jpeg.9df67c90bd9788fcb08b7fc3f8f330f6.jpeg3A3C8A74-E89D-4B36-8EAE-2DFBEC1CDD20.jpeg.15b2e20288347c57b6725ee4559bc051.jpeg

 

Step 10: Secure top foam

half to top hook shank with loose thread wraps.  Then secure bottom half of foam to bottom of hook shank with loose thread wraps.  Tie off thread right near hook eye with three half hitches then cut thread.

E57F2BBB-0DEF-46FE-B80C-169662CF9594.jpeg.62b65e3095778eb90c0802042a65095f.jpeg42BDF751-5E96-476A-B59D-574D1FA2AD5D.jpeg.7a1dfc9b08b3c532b9ae9254aa4b1a04.jpeg1083D710-5FC7-4765-9314-34F308BF1E00.jpeg.e88f179b0110e13d33b52061d29ed84f.jpeg

 

Step 11: Cut 1 1/4" section of large peacock EZ Body.  Side over foam all the way back to cover end of spreader  causing hair to take conical shape.  NOTE: if you want more flare of material shorten length of tubing used to end 1/8" before spreader rear edge.  This will creater higher flare of materials and bigger bodied look of fly.9C27C4EA-CC54-4F00-BA76-0A2363814612.jpeg.e33625864206ae24e3273f03f7ed3daa.jpeg983ACD90-89D9-4E5C-9300-64264CBC86F1.jpeg.ebca37a02e499ead2bb35d16ce9c7f43.jpeg

 

Step 12: Reattach thread then work thread into mesh and make two loose wraps to capture mesh.  Cinch materials down onto hook shank.  Wrap towards foam head then back towards hook eye.  Secure thread with two half hitches then UV Resin.  Cut thread after curing resin.

39C18681-A524-472D-BAFF-435F00686BB3.jpeg.510228ba5591dd93d5763761909d6269.jpegFFABF6D1-EA4A-4D32-972D-C3394892AD71.jpeg.ffce242300d7c1ea1a01d6be194479e3.jpeg954055D6-9759-4AC1-B0AD-3DFB30528FF8.jpeg.9888bfc8dc7292188c38c415c6755f64.jpegDE7BBBCE-2AC9-437E-87E2-A7FD606813EA.jpeg.0c970e2e8b0e617b15446c4f3a55606d.jpeg

 

Step 13: Use bodkin to push mono and mylar back into thread wraps and trim with scissors to get clear hook eye.  Then take out of vise and look at material distribution.  You can shift it around spreader to fill in any gaps before coating entire mesh head in Softex or UV/Tuffleye Flex.

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The fly is complete and ready to fish.  If you want to add eyes your best bet is tabbed eyes to minimize any extra weight.  I have tried adding 3d eyes with UV Resin.  It looks great but the extra weight screws up neutral buoyancy and changes action to a nose first slow sinking fly.1512ADFB-CA17-445C-B61D-86FAB6A0A390.jpeg.f9aecb2f5d29967ba3fa0d540c913b43.jpeg12FD6C73-1C4D-4703-A0A7-7EDBCC24047C.jpeg.2d083fea0ebfabdf623e25913576e574.jpeg

 

I hope SOL members find this fly useful for their night exploits.  But if you want to make a daylight version here are the material substitutions below:

 

Hook: Tiemco TMC600SP 1/0

Hair: Squmpish Boutique Blends white 

Hair ALT: SquimpishBoutique Blends Chartreuse for top wing and white for belly and sides.

Body Tubing: EZ Body, Size Large, Color Pearl

Foam: White 5/16" live body foam cylinder 

Thread: fine clear mono tying thread.

 

 

 

 

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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1 hour ago, DrBob said:

Nice honor, I think we all miss him on this site.

He always provided great content.  Figured a good fly tying tutorial was inline with his style of contributing.  Hoping other SOLers post their versions of this fly and/or fish caught with it in 2020.  My next goal is catch some bass on this fly at "BFD Beach" this May.

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51 mins ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

He always provided great content.  Figured a good fly tying tutorial was inline with his style of contributing.  Hoping other SOLers post their versions of this fly and/or fish caught with it in 2020.  My next goal is catch some bass on this fly at "BFD Beach" this May.

Dan,

 

Let us know when you'll be at BFD's beach.  Maybe a meet-up is in order and then a quick trip to the local Dunkie's to finish off the outing :) 

 

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Nice Job! Great Inspiration!

 

I particularly like how you took a bunch of ideas (whether from BFD or Rich Murphy or package recipes) and blended them together for your creation. Sometimes that gets lost in fly tying as we try to follow a recipe to the tee.

 

A couple comments:  First, personally I always use / have eye's on my flies if I can. Since you're using foam, I'm sure there is some sort of weight trade off that supports the extra epoxy / or liquid fusion setting / sealing in the eyes. Second, I suppose an air chamber rattle could be used instead or with the foam formulation. And finally ... I just discovered that Squipish fly tying material which looks really promising. I bought some orange stuff for Squidly lures. Yours is the first application I've seen using that stuff.

 

Thanks for the post! ... and thanks to BFD!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

39 mins ago, KironaFly said:

Nice Job! Great Inspiration!

 

I particularly like how you took a bunch of ideas (whether from BFD or Rich Murphy or package recipes) and blended them together for your creation. Sometimes that gets lost in fly tying as we try to follow a recipe to the tee.

 

A couple comments:  First, personally I always use / have eye's on my flies if I can. Since you're using foam, I'm sure there is some sort of weight trade off that supports the extra epoxy / or liquid fusion setting / sealing in the eyes. Second, I suppose an air chamber rattle could be used instead or with the foam formulation. And finally ... I just discovered that Squipish fly tying material which looks really promising. I bought some orange stuff for Squidly lures. Yours is the first application I've seen using that stuff.

 

Thanks for the post! ... and thanks to BFD!

Interesting I had not heard of air chamber rattles before.  I will check them out.  

 

I think a simple way to add eyes with out the weight of epoxy would be using jungle cock or tabbed eyes.  When I added eyes I was adding 3D eyes with UV resin that threw off the delicate balance.  If you went with a much lighter solution the fly might be totally fine.

 

Another way to make the fly more buoyant would be instead of using all squimpish hair to make the top wing out of hollow buck tail fibers.  That would add a lot of lift to the profile.  I might make one like that to test out this season.  It was something I recently realized in the last 2 days actually as a way to change the fly's flotation.

 

Since I fish almost exclusively at night I am not sure the eyes matter at all for when I am fishing.  My best fly last season for big fish has no eyes at all.  I attached some pictures for your reference. 

IMG_5428.JPG.4c5efc3dc75d212a2251302840747d0c.JPGIMG_5343.JPG.9038eb3ef07f646f6e19d4d394165df7.JPGIMG_5342.JPG.723473800ecf5f69b87afac213adb922.JPGAWOU7959.JPG.f120a697b00868e5acbe796d9dce8ae1.JPG

 

I agree with Rich Murphy in his book I think night flies priority is:

1. Water Displacement (frontal push)

2. Additional sources of vibration (Tails or blades or discs)

3. Rattles seem to either be hot or not so I like have some flies with out rattles like this BFD Midnight Special and others with a single or double rattle.  My number top fish catching fly last year at night was rattle less and it had over 30 fish but only one keeper.  All except for one of my fish 35 inches or bigger were caught on flies with rattles. 

4. Overall profile length

5. Type of silhouette cast

 

Lastly I think scent is a critical component, but not something most fly fishermen are willing to dabble in. 

 

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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Excellent job! There are huge numbers of very effective flies out there, but you can often improve your catch rate by altering them by changing the materials, amounts of materials, weighting or floatation, etc.  Many of my most productive flies are flies that I've changed to fit the specific locations and conditions in which I fish. Sometimes, these variations occur because I don't have the materials the recipe calls for or I cut a corner and do something that is a little easier than the established technique. Never assume you have to stick with established materials or techniques just because that's what was always done before. Let that advice expand to life itself, not just fly tying.  

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Posted (edited) · Report post

TGS: I've never worked with E-Z tubing. Could you "paint" the eyes on? You could certainly put flat stick on eyes and coat with Softex.

Edited by Suave
Omission

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