The Bonehead

Since Drought Status has not been lifted yet, I present a Saltwater Pattern to give our Trout a Break.

The Buildup

This fly is more of a tying style than a particular pattern. I learned of this pattern at the Jersey Shore, "the Hard Way" as they say .

As I pulled up to "The Hot Spot" at Island Beach State Park, a grey haired fly fisherman in the lot quickly finished donning his boots before I could get out of my van. I suspected a good night of fishing by his sneakyness. Usually saltwater fly fishermen are eager to show you what they are catching fish on, or strike up a conversation if you can give them info. But not this night. I soon caught up to Old Grey Hair as we both walked to "The Hot Spot". He probably was a little hard of hearing, as the fly was hanging off the rod in plain view as I gained on him. "Evening!" I said loudly, startling him. Immediately, he cupped the fly in his hand before grunting at me

My suspicians were confirmed as soon as the Bluefish came in about a half hour later. While I struggled to get 1 or 2 Bluefish to attack, The Grey Geezer caught 6, maybe more. A friend of his showed up, and asked what was going on. "Bonehead." He murmured.

I thought this was rather rude, since these guys knew each other. I gradually put 2 & 2 together and realized this was a secret code for what I saw hanging from his leader, a fly called " The Bonehead".

Later, after the bluefish attack, I researched the fly at the local shop and grudgingly they sold me a Bonehead, a fly used in Florida etc. for stuff down there, but "secretly" used locally for all species that will refuse traditional flies but take an immitation with a "jigging" action.

The Theory

The fly uses the same principal that makes the Clouser Minnow and beadhead so popular.

The Bonehead has a large epoxy head that:
A- helps give it a bobbing action much like a spin fisherman's lead head jig.
B- plus the epoxy protects the components of the fly from damage from toothy gamefish.

The Parts:

Hook: 1x streamer hook, Stainless for Salt water
Thread: Red, the thicker the better to build up bulk.
Tail & body: White Bucktail.
Sides: Grizzly hackle
Head: Epoxy-Clear liquid or plumbers epoxy puddy, or red craft beads.

The Procedure:

Tie in tail, then grizzly side hackles securing both about 1/4" before the eye.

Generously wrap the head with thread and tie off.

Apply epoxy, building up the head in layers if need be or all at once if you have a thicker epoxy puddy.

Paint it and add an eye with a dot of yellow, and a smaller dot of black for the pupil.

Alternate head: procure large red plastic craft beads, drill out the centers, and apply them to the tied off head after coating it with a large shmear of epoxy. This method gives a really nice round head, and the red color is in the plastic and won't chip off after a few fish, like a painted head.

The Bragging

I have caught Bluefish and Fluke on this pattern, and just added a Striper to that list last week. I can see this fly being useful for freshwater species as well. Give it a try.

The Old Trapper