Tying flies in preparation for a quick jaunt down to Tarponville in a few weeks has reminded me how much I love tying with EP Fibre (or “fiber”, for our friends south of the border!). EP fibre, whether tied in a brush or loose strands, makes it super easy to create great baitfish patterns that offer great translucency.
EP minnows and baitfish can be tied in a variety of sizes and colours for all sorts of species from trout and salmon to GT’s and Tarpon. The fly in this step-by-step is tied for Tarpon, but can easily be scaled down and fished for rainbows and bull trout.
Hook: Tiemco 600SP sz. 4/0
Thread: UTC 210 Black
EP Fibre 1: “Just Add H20” EP Fibre – Red
EP Fibre 2: Superfly Super-Fibre
Eyes: Stick-On Baitfish Eyes
Step 1: Attach thread
Step 2: Tie in a length of Angel Hair. Don’t worry about it being too long, all of this will be trimmed eventually.
Step 3: Tie in a length of EP Fibre with an equal amount coming out the front of the hook. Make a loose wrap to allow the fibres to engulf the entire diameter of the shank. This allows for a full and consistent profile, again do not worry about these fibres being too long as everything will be cut to shape in the end.
Step 4: Push back the fibres that were facing the eye of the hook. Make sure they are pushed back to cover the entire hook shank before you make your wraps.
Step 5: Begin to add your front colour of EP fibre. Use the same method of tying in around the shank the pushing back the excess fibre and locking down. It is better to err on the long side with your fibres as they will be trimmed. For this fly I have used 4″ pieces of black EP fibre.
Step 6: Add as many clumps as needed to build the desired size of body. For this particular one it took 4 pieces to get the profile I wanted. This will vary depending on the baitfish you are imitating and species you are targeting. Before trimming and adding eyes, brush the whole fly out with a dubbing brush. This will not only help the colours blend, but free any fibres that have been trapped.
Step 7: Whip finish, trim your thread and cut body into a teardrop shape before adding your stick-on eyes. I’ve used a drop of Zap-a-Gap on the eyes before pushing them on, followed by a few more brushes of super glue to hold them in place and bond to the fibres.
Continue trimming until you have the shape you want, and repeat!
Of course, this is one version of this pattern. This can be tied in all shapes and sizes for everything from trout and bass fishing to larger saltwater species. Get creative, send me an email with what you come up with and I will post a photo of it!
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I’m excited to put these to use on some giant Costa Rica Tarpon this spring. For more info on our hosted trip to Tarponville next spring click this link!