These are flies that have caught or at least enlisted a tug from Albacore in the ocean offshore Oregon during 2012 or 2013.
My commercial fishing friend laughs at me on the topic of flies. Ask any 6 commercial tuna trollers what color or size they prefer and count on 6 different answers. Ask em if color makes a difference and you will get 6 different stories too.
Enticing an Albacore to take a fly that is cast versus trolled probably is a different story, most of the time, or at least some of the time.
These are flies that me, a 3 day Tuna fly fishing expert has confidence in, for at least the moment. They range in size from 3 inches to s long as 5 inches and include one tube fly tied with bucktail and dumbell eyes plus several flies that incorporate synthetic materials and eyes tied on saltwater hooks and finished with Clear Cure Goo instead of epoxy.
All of these flies or at least the fly styles will be featured in distant future videos, but heck, the Albacore are running now and I wanted to share a few ideas with fellow saltwater fly anglers who dream of buck tail, krystal flash, and Steve Farrar’s synthetic materials on Mustad 3407 hooks. You poor twisted souls.
Thoughts about materials.
Hooks: Sizes from 1/0 to 4/0 are all in the ballpark, depending on how fully the fly is dressed. The following hooks have the right stuff for Albacore flies. Mustad 3407; Gamakatsu SC 15; Gamakatsu SL 12 S; Daiichi Alec Jackson Saltwater; Gamakatsu SC 17; and surely there are others too, I am just so new to this that I have not figured the others out yet.
Eyes: I have most success with the 5/16 inch Hareline Adhesive Holographic Eyes and 3D 3/8 inch Big Fish eyes. I like the Super Pearl eyes, but of course you will decide what color you like best. My choice here does not represent a side-by-side comparison of all the eyes out there, simply that these work well for ma and I feel comfortable applying them and the fish eat them too.
Clear Cure Goo: I have become a staunch advocate of Clear Cure Goo. This took some time and a certain amount of fiddling with the stuff, but now that I have developed the hang of it – I frankly would not want to run short on several of the varieties (Thick, Tack Free, Tack Free Flex, Thin, and Hydro. The goo really gets the job done.
Steve Farrar’s Synthetics: Love ‘em. These are just a few I will mention here.
Fluoro Fibre Gliss N Glow is awesome for throats and highlights in wings. Bright bright bright, a little goes a long way.
Fish Scale: Makes slim profile baitfsh flies with something similar to krystal flash already in it.
Brush N Wing Fibre: it has the subtle flash in it already and is very very smooth.
EP Foxy Brush: wind it on like a collar to make baitfish bellies that are white but not sparkly, more like the hues of buck tail in my mind.
EP Anadromous Brush: I have used the white and pearl to make great baitfish bellies.
EP Sparkle Brush: again, wind on a few turns to make flashy baitfish bellies; use it in Blue Magic, Pearl Magic, and Holographic silver – it is wonderful.
Lateral Scale: Great stuff for a dazzling flash, use it sparingly or by the handful depending on how much attention you want to draw to your fly.
This fly is just under 4 Inches, use the EP Sparkle brush for the bely, and a back of SF Blend mackerel topped with Herring Back and a few strands of peacock krystal flash.
This is the longest of the Albacore flies I have fished successfully to date, pegging the meter at a full 5 inches. Fluorofibre throat, and SF Blend in Bucktail, for the belly, add SF Blend Bleeding Mackerel toped with Bleeding Grey and Black for the back, throw in a few strands of smolt Blue Krystal Flash somewhere in the wing. Strip it fast and keep on stripping when you feel the weight climb on.
Hope you find fun and tuna this season with these flies, or something inspired by these flies.
Jay Nicholas (August 2013)