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F L A S H A B O U
[The one stop shop for glitter, glitz and flash - In today’s terms, this is serious bling for flies]
Do you remember the first time you saw Flashabou, was it on the wall of your favorite fly shop or was it on a nymph or streamer? My first encounter with Flashabou occurred when a friend showed with a couple packages of this new material and asked if I had seen “this stuff”, I do not recall whether that was in 1982 or 1983. But I do remember thinking that this material will be used across the broad encompassing all types of fly types and fish species. (Now, the reason I remember all this is that I checked out my journal notes. The notes are from January 1983, but way they are written I may have seen the material in the fall of 1982.) However, those notes proved to be true, today the variety of product is astounding and the applications are endless.
Folks, Hedron, Inc is one of the fine sponsors for Fly Angler’s On Line. Now, Hedron only sells to Dealers (Fly Shops) and Wholesalers, but their range of fine products can be found in the most progressive Fly Shops and Catalogs. If you cannot find an item, I am sure an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org will soon give a list of suppliers in your area. Also, check out their catalog you may be surprised by all the materials they produce. If you type in www.hedroninc.com for an inter-net search, among the information that comes up is a dedicated link to FAOL.
Hedron set the industry standards for “Bling for Flies” and has sent they opened for business in 1982. They are often copied, but never bettered. Once again I ask the readers to support the Sponsors who support FAOL, without them none of this would be possible.
With Hedron Inc, it is easy to be a supporter, as they give you superior products for you to design your flies with. Now not everyone likes “Bling for Flies and some are guided by what they feel are traditions. Some angler/tiers also set rules on how a material should be used! I say, each to their own ideas and pleasures, but for me, the rule is; That there are no rules, when it comes to fly tying materials, fly patterns and how they are constructed.
In classes, clinics and gatherings I have heard those who cry out that those famous anglers and tiers of yesteryear would never have used such stuff. My reply is, that is correct, those fly tiers of yesteryear never used any of the Flashabou products, because it was not available to them. Had, it been available those by-gone fly tiers would have most definitely used it. Well enough of theories that can never proven or discussions without end.
Well now, we come to the nuts and bolts of this missive. The newest material to the Hedron line of Flashabou products and that is Flashabou Magnum. Now you might wonder what the difference is between the Magnum and the Standard Flashabou. The Magnum is twice as wide (1/32 wide and 20 inches long) as the original (1/69 wide and 10 inches in length) thus drastically increasing the light reflecting abilities in the water. The Magnum is twice as strong as the Original and able to stand up to the shape teeth often found with saltwater fish species and Northern Pike. Because of its strength and width the Magnum material is also a little more rigid, just enough so it works well in patterns designed for trolling, also it helps imitation keep their shape in saltwater and in heavy rough water.
The Flashabou Magnum comes in Nine Different Colors and also comes in Eighteen Holographic Colors. The excellent 3D properties of the Holographic material offers a whole new world for the fly tier to explore.
I also played with the Original Holographic Flashabou (1/69 wide and 10 inches in length) and I know that this material will find many use for the
fly tiers and their patterns. Now, as always, I will share some recipes, photo’s and notes with you.
Let us see how many fly types we can construct with the Original Holographic and Magnum Flashabou in both regular and Holographic colors. Oh, do think that all the patterns will be leeches, streamers and the like? Well let go and see.
1. Brown Holographic PT Nymph
- Hook: TMC 101 Sizes: 12-22
- Thread: Brown 12/0
- Tails: Natural Brown Pheasant Tail Fibers
- Abdomen: Brown Holographic Flashabou 1/69”, two or three strands wrapped.
- Wingcases: Natural Brown Pheasant Tail Fibers, tied in at the eye of the hook and pulled back over the top of the thorax, in what I call Sawyer style.
- Thorax: Dubbed, Olive/Brown Rabbit, then pick out the bottom of the thorax to form the illusion of legs.
Notes: I tie this pattern unweighted, it still sinks down a couple of inches. If you want, the imitation to go deeper, then add some lead fuse or other non-toxic wire to the thorax area. By the way, I have been using this pattern on Bluegills (Brim) in Florida with excellent results.
2. Copper Nymph, Midge Style
- Hook: TMC 2457 Sizes: 14-22
- Thread: 12/0 Black
- Bead: Black Tungsten, sized to the hook, or standard gold metal bead as desired.
- Body: Copper Holographic Flashabou 1/69, two or three strands wrapped.
- Thorax: Dubbed, Black Rabbit Fur
Notes: This is a modification of the old popular Copper Nymph, sometimes all it takes is a little modification to make the imitation more appealing to the trout. This pattern is effective on many different waters. I sent some to a friend in Michigan who told be they were very effective. But, I know he ties them in larger sizes and uses them on Carp.
3. Holographic Partridge & Orange Soft Hackle
- Hook: TMC 100 Sizes: 12-18
- Thread: Dark Dun 12/0
- Body: Orange Holographic Flashabou 1/69, One strand doubled and wrapped.
- Thorax: Dubbed, Natural Lite Hare’s Ear
- Hackle: Hungarian Partridge, Brownish Back Feather
4. Holographic Yellow & Quail Soft Hackle
- Hook: TMC Sizes: 12-18
- Thread: Dark Dun 12/0
- Body: Yellow Holographic Flashabou 1/69, One strand doubled and wrapped
- Thorax: Dubbed, Natural Lite Hare’s Ear
- Hackle: Gamble’s Quail Back Feather, which is Dun Colored
Notes: Either one of these patterns could be tied with a bead, if you desire. You will notice that I tie short bodies on my soft hackles, that is nothing more than a personal touch. Does this pattern work, hey, it is a soft hackle, of course it works!
5. Holographic Super Clouser, Yellow, Red, Yellow
- Hook: Mustad 34007 Sizes: 1/0-6
- Thread: Clear Ultra, Fine
- Eyes: Painted Dumb-bell, Yellow with Black Centers Eyes tied so the hook rides point up.
- Belly: Yellow Super Hair
- Wing: Red Super Hair Few strands of Magnum Flashabou 1/32, Holographic Rainbow Yellow Super Hair
- Epoxy: I then epoxy the head and eyes this adds to the durability of the imitation.
6. Holographic Super Clouser, Chartreuse & White
- Hook: Mustad 34007 Sizes: 1/0-8
- Thread: Clear Ultra, Fine
- Eyes: Painted Dumb-bell, Yellow with Black Centers
- Belly: White Super Hair
- Wing: White Super Hair Few Strands of Magnum Flashabou 1/32 Silver Ice Chartreuse Super Hair
- Epoxy: I then epoxy the head and eyes this adds to the durability
Notes: These are two of my go to patterns in Florida; I have taken Lady Fish, Jacks, Sail-Cats, Sea Trout, Snook and Baby Tarpon on these imitations.
7. Holographic Chartreuse & White, Barred Craft Fur Streamer
- Hook: Dai-Riki 930 Sizes: 3/0-8
- Thread: White A
- Belly: White Craft Fur Fibers, tied short, at the base of the bundle, use a Red Sharpie to color in the gills
- Wing/Body: White Craft Fur Fibers Few Fibers of Holographic Silver Ice Flashabou 1/32
- Head: Chartreuse Craft Fur Fibers, stacked, packed and trimmed
- Eyes: 3-D, Silver with Black Centers
Notes: Once the pattern is complete, take a Black Sharpie marker and barred the head and the Chartreuse Craft Fur on the Wing/Body. This is another pattern that I am never without when fishing the Saltwater, here in Florida. I tie this style of saltwater streamer in many different color combinations. This pattern has also been effective on Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass and Steelhead.
I could go on and on and easily list up to fifty patterns. But let’s save something for next time. I am assuming that you know how to enhance you streamer and leech imitations with Flashabou and you know that some types are great for ribbing and I have use Glow In The Dark Flashabou as Wingpost for some parachute duns and emergers. Remember, when using Flashabou the only limitation you have are the ones you place on yourself. Go play, create and be happy.
I might mention that I also use Flashabou material on several dry flies.
Enjoy & Good Fishin’
From the Desk of the
Wandering Fly Tyer