How to Tie Articulated Smolt
What You’ll Need
Killer caddis bead, large or medium, color is scarlet
Danville 210 – color to match body
Eyes or Cone
Either one will work, I like the eyes and cones from either company, Spirit River or Hareline.
Depending on where you fish, salt or fresh will determine the correct hook. I’m using TMC 811s, 2/0 or bass hooks in TMC 8089. The key is a wide gape and short shank.
Hard mason mono, 25 pound
I use select marabou and put two plumes together. You could get away with strung marabou, but you’ll loose more of the long fluffy look, or should I say bigger tail. Since we are using two hooks the length on the tail doesn’t matter for short strikes because more than likely the fish you’re after is hitting from the head anyways. We really don’t want little fish to hit this fly. We are doing it more for the whole length of the profile of the fly. If you want to add flash, I would tie one plume, tie in the flash and tie the second plume on top of that. I like my flash to blend in with the tail.
This will be the back on the fly. It doesn’t really serve a purpose, but it adds character and some sort of lateral line, or a separation in the baitfish you’re trying to imitate. Measure it to be the same length as the tail. Once tied in, fold it back and tie in front of it to really secure it from slipping on the side of the hook shank
This is the most important part if you want your fly to turn out right. The feather I’m holding is a select marabou plume. The key is having enough length in the marabou to wrap around the hook shank to create bulk.
If you notice in step 3 how the feather is, you’ll need to split it at the tip and tie it in from the tip. When wrapping the stem around the shank make sure when selecting the correct feather that the stem is not real stiff up at the front. Trust me, you’ll go through a lot of bad ones to get a good one. There’s a lot of bad marabou out there so me sure you know what to look for. It might take a few time tying with it, but then you’ll understand what I mean when I say tie with the best marabou you can find. Hareline came out with some marabou called “X- select” that is what I would recommend.
After wrapping the marabou up the hook shank, you’ll wrap on the back of it to lay it down. You’ll actually wrap the second marabou feather on top of what you wrapped up. You’ll repeat this two times so you will have a total of three marabou plumes on each hook.
You can see where I tied back on it. That will give you an idea how far back I’m tying.
This is the last feather. Notice it’s tied all the way up to the eye of the hook. After securing and cutting off the excess you’re ready to fold over the rabbit strip and tie it down. Before doing this split the marabou even, it just helps from having the rabbit hide shift the marabou uneven. To me, fly tying is all about proportion.
Tie down the hide, but tie it down to where you go a little back on the hide to secure the rabbit. Oh, before I forget, make sure you either slide on your cone or tie in your eyes before starting the second hook.
After securing the mono, go back to the bend.
Tie in your flash.
Tie in the rabbit the same way you did on the first one.
Repeat the same step as you did on the back hook.
You will do a little collar of ice chenille, maybe two turns around the cone or eyes you are using. This cleans up the fly and makes it look better.
Finish Product. This pattern shows how you can use eyes instead of a cone. Here’s a circus peanut as a smolt pattern. Different action to the fly. I would have both!!