A Step by Step Tutorial By:
The EP American Shad
he EP styles of baitfish are some of the most productive patterns I have fished. While there are thousands of different styles of streamers out there, these patterns are easy to tie (once you get the hang of it), and very easy to fish. There are really only (2) phases to tying these patterns, but for illustration purposes lets say there are (4). Phase 1: Gills and Tails Phase 2: The rear section of the body (steps 3-10) Phase 3: The front section of the body (steps 11-19) Phase 4: Finish (trimming, adding eyes, and painting) Please note that for this tutorial I have used one of my American Shad patterns. These same steps can be used, with different colors, to create almost any baitfish species a fly fisher would use. Other color options might be a white belly with a dark olive / blue back with a pink lateral line for rainbow trout or herring patterns. You might try using grey or silver for the lateral lines for Kokanee or salmon smolt. These patterns can be tied in any length you wish, just adjust the hook size. Notice I have used the Gamakatsu B10s hook for this pattern. This hook has a longer shank than most saltwater hooks, but I feel itâ€™s a better hook for bass. Donâ€™t worry about hitting the eye of the hook at completion when using these longer shanks. A Gamakatsu SC15 or SL12 works very well also, and would complete at the eye of the hook. These tying steps also work for almost any synthetic material, including Kinky fibers or other yarns, just adjust the clump size to the bulkiness of the material. One last note: before you tie any clumps of fibers to the hook, be sure and taper them slightly, do this by pulling out some of the center fibers from both ends. Notice in the accompanying photographs that all of the material ends have been tapered prior to tying. This will aid greatly when it comes time to trim the pattern to shape.
Materials: Hook: Thread: Glue: Eye Glue: Gills: Tail: Under Body: Upper Body: Lateral Line: Flash: Eyes: Materials: Gamakatsu B10s #1 Fine Mono Zap-A-Gap Thin Zap-A-Goo EP Silky Fibers (Red) EP Fibers 3D EP Fibers 3D (Baitfish Belly) EP Fibers 3D (Sand) EP Fibers 3D (Gold) EP Sparkle (Gold) 3D Prismatic
Secure the Hook in the vise and attach the gills. Cut the fibers into a short length and double them around the mono thread. Pull the fibers up to the bottom of the hook shank while holding the bobbin, and tie them down to the hook. Trim them short diagonally.
Tie down the tail on the top of the hook shank. This is where you set the length of the fly, so if you have a very specific length in mind use a ruler to measure out the overall length. (creating the tail) â€“ To create the tail take a bunch of the top color fibers double them over and cut them, then double them over and cut them again. Take a small clump of the lateral line color and wrap the previous clump around it. Now pinching them together in your left hand grab a bobbin with some fine mono thread and bind the fibers together with 8-10 firm wraps. Whip finish the thread and cut the bobbin loose. Apply a very small drop of thin Zap-A-Gap to the thread wraps and trim away the excess material from the both sides. I now use a Sepa colored marker to darken the tail fibers.
Attach your first clump of top color in the center to the top side of the hook shank.
Double the material over itself and secure it down
Tie in a clump of the bottom color fibers in the center on the far side of the hook 2/3 down towards the bottom.
Pull the forward facing fibers over the top of the hook shank and tie them down 2/3 down towards the bottom on the close side of the hook. Notice how there is a very slight gap between the top color and bottom color of fibers, this is where the lateral line color is tied in, to fill this gap. Take a very slight clump of the lateral line color fibers and split it in half. Tie it to the front side of the hook in the center of the fibers.
Notice how there is a very slight gap between the top color and bottom color of fibers, this is where the lateral line color is tied in, to fill this gap. Take a very slight clump of the lateral line color fibers and split it in half. Tie it to the front side of the hook in the center of the fibers.
Double the fibers over and secure them down. Repeat on the opposite side of the hook. It is very important to use a very slight amount of fibers for the lateral line color as you do not want to add too much bulk to the sides of the pattern.
Add a very slight amount of flash completely around the hook , tie it in at its center, double it back and tie it down, now add a very small drop of thin Zap-A-Gap.
Repeat steps 3 through 9. Once complete you will have completed phase 2 of the fly pattern.
Secure a slightly smaller and shorter clump of the top color at the center to the top of the hook. Instead of securing in strait inline with the hook shank, angle it slightly towards the far side of the hook.
Now fold the forward facing fibers back in a â€œveeâ€? across the top of the hook and secure them down. Take a slightly smaller and shorter clump of the bottom fibers and split it into two equal halves, one for the far side of the hook, and one for the near side. Tie the first clump at the center of the fibers down to the side of the hook slightly lower than centerline.
Take a slightly smaller and shorter clump of the bottom fibers and split it into two equal halves, one for the far side of the hook, and one for the near side. Tie the first clump at the center of the fibers down to the side of the hook slightly lower than centerline.
Fold the forward facing fibers back to the bottom of the hook and tie them down.
Repeat step 13 on the far side of the hook.
Repeat step 14 on the far side of the hook.
Bind all the fibers down and add a small drop of thin Zap-A- Gap. Note that in Phase 3 of the fly we will no longer be tying in a lateral line or any flash material. Repeat steps 11-17.
Repeat steps 11-17.
To even up the thread wraps at the head, and to finish off the body, add one more very sparse and shorter clump of the top color the same as in steps 11 and 12. Wrap a nice head, whip finish and add another small drop of the Zap-A-Gap. At this point, you can remove the fly from the vise. The photograph of this step shows the fly combed out, notice how all of the fibers are blending together.
Here I have trimmed the fly. It is much easier to do this with the fly out of the vise using a long pair of scissors. I trim the fibers from the back forward creating the overall shape of the baitfish. Be sure to trim the fly in three dimensions, even though the basic pattern is â€œverticalâ€? in nature some of the fibers along the sides will need to be trimmed also.
Here the forked tail has been trimmed. While using a separate tail is not necessary for these patterns, I think it adds something to the fly, especially if the bait youâ€™re imitating has a very pronounced fork in the tail. Do not try and trim the tail first, wait until the body has been formed and then flatten the fibers out vertical with the body and trim them to shape.
The last step is attaching the eyes and adding any marks you may want with permanent marker. I use Zap-A-Goo to secure the eyes. Place a small dap on the fibers using a bodkin, push the bodkin down into the fibers and roll it with your fingers as you pull it away from the fibers. The glue will stay put and your bodkin will come away clean. Drop the eye on and position onto the fly, they eye should be forward of the gills and on center with the shank of the hook. Repeat on the other side taking note to center the eyes both vertically and horizontally. Let the Zap-A-goo dry for a few hours and FISH!
hen it comes to fishing these patterns I recommend having at least (2) of every pattern you plan to fish for the day, that way when one becomes tangled, (and they will get tangled), you can tie on the spare and let the other dry out for combing. Don’t try combing while the fibers are wet or covered in gunk. It works much easier if you allow the pattern to dry and then simply comb it back out, and make any trimming adjustments that may be necessary. I always carry a spare comb and scissors with me when I’m fishing these patterns for just this reason. As a final note, I would highly recommend watching Enrico Puglisi’s videos. For $20 a year you get access to all of his videos via his web site www.epflies.com. If you’re really interested in being able to tie with his products, the cost of admission is well worth the price. Enjoy! Hud
Columbia River Small Mouth Country