Banana Squid
By J. Kenney Abrames, Providence, RI

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

Banana Squid (For Stripers)

I trust the hook style that I specified for these patterns. The wire is light and does not cause the fly to sink unnaturally. The natural sinking of the fly is important because it mimics the natural movement of a bait fish. The shank of this hook is one size short which means that the shank is the same length as a hook one size smaller. This does two things; first, it makes the hook lighter and second it makes the point longer in relationship to the hook size. I believe this gives me a mechanical advantage when fighting a fish. The long point seats better and the short shank exerts less leverage when the fish crosses in front of me.

I always tie my flies with a small amount of bucktail in the tail to support the hackles that I tie in flat. This prevents the feathers from folding under the hook and helps them swim correctly. I usually tie in the first feather with the natural curve facing up, the rest of the feathers are facing down. I believe that the feathers have a freer action when tied this way.

Materials / Instructions:

Hook:  254NA 1Xshort, size 1/0 through 5/0.

Tail:  A small bunch of long white or gray bucktail, then two or three long white saddles tied in glat over the bucktail. Next, four ginger saddles tied in as a veil around the white saddles, then tie some purple Crystal Flash on each side. Then take two short badger hackles and tie them in on either side of the tail: top this off with a long, pale gray, webby saddle tied in flat and tie in a full plume of amber marabou over that.

Body:  Translucent purple mylar yarn wrapped to a point 3/8 of an inch from the eye of the hook.

Wing:  It is a collar made of four different parts. First, a sparse, one hair thick, collar of yellow bucktail long enough to extend to the end of the amber marabou, then a sparse, one hair thick, collar of red bucktail and last a sparse one hair thick collar of blue. Finish the fly by tying in a plume of brownish gray marabou by the tail, doubling it, and winding a full collar.

Fishing Suggestions:

Ken with striper in Newport, Rhode Island
The banana squid catches fish consistantly. I have caught some very big stripers on it. The dressing is not that important. I never tie it the same way twice. What is important is the silhouette, the length and the vague suggestiveness contained in both it's muted and primary colors. It should be shaped like a banana when in the water which is the shape of a living squid. You never see the tentacles or the eyes of a living squid. The retrieve that works best for me is a slow even hand twist. Squid move slowly and evenly most of the time, they only use their jet propulsion when fleeing. I have never caught a fish using a fly that looked like a picture of what we ordinarily think a squid look like except when offshore trolling for marlin and tuna. ~ T. Kenney Abrames

Excerpt from Striper Moon, Published by Frank Amato Publications. Our thanks for use permission!

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