Gibby's Myakka Minnow
by Steve Gibson, Sarasota, FL

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

The Mighty Myakka Minnow was born out of frustration. I'm sure you've been there.

Imagine a day on the water with fish busting minnows throughout the morning. But after several hours, you still have nothing to show for your efforts. You cast into the spray of minnows, but your offering is ignored repeatedly. The fish are so keyed into the tiny minnows that they ignore everything else.

Although the scenery is nice and weather gorgeous, it sure would be nice to feel the tug of a largemouth bass or hand-sized bluegill.

This happened to me several times while fly fishing on the Myakka River.

After one unproductive outing, I decided to try and come up with a fly that would imitate the minnows that the fish were so excited about.

I knew that the fly had to be no more than an inch long. It had to look like a minnow. It had to sink. It had to have large eyes.

After a few hours of trial and tribulation, I came up with a workable prototype and couldn't wait to give it a try.

Next time out to the river, I had several Myakka Minnows in my box and one tied on my 4-weight. It didn't take long to realize that I'd hit a home run. I picked up bass, bluegill, stumpknocker and tilapia while blind-casting. I kept my eyes open for scattering minnows. When I saw bass or bluegill busting minnows, I'd cast the Myakka Minnow into the fray.

Success is so sweet!

Over the years, the fly has worked very well and achieved a national reputation of sorts. It's a pattern that the Flymasters of Indianapolis featured in its Intermediate Fly Tying Class last spring. I've had email inquiries about the fly from interest anglers all over the country. I've even sold hundreds of them.

The fly isn'?t a magic fly. But it does work very well when small minnows are the main food source. Then, it seems to be magic.

In fresh water, the fly has produced bass, bluegill, shellcracker, stumpknocker, redbreast sunfish, speckled perch and tilapia. Rick Grassett caught a nice brown trout on the Myakka Minnow in Montana. I caught barramundi on it. You can tie it on larger hooks and go after saltwater fish. It has resulted in spotted seatrout, snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, jack crevalle, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and little tunny.

It's a fun fly to fish and an easy fly to tie.

I'm sure there are similar flies out there somewhere, but the pattern was born in my head. I've never seen a fly like it in any shop or catalog.

Tie and few and see what you think.

What works best for me is to cast it out, let is sink for a couple of counts, then work it in erratically. I like a couple of 2-inch strips and a pause. But you'll figure out what works best for you.

Good luck!

Materials Myakka Minnow

    Hook: No. 12 1560 Daiichi Nymph hook

    Thread: Fine mono

    Tail: Clipped marabou

    Weight: 6-8 turns of .20 lead wire

    Body: Bodi-Braid by Spirit River

    Eyes: 3D Prism Stick-On

    Coating: Devcon 2-Ton Epoxy


Put hook in vice and attach thread on the hook shank near the point of the hook. Tie in a small amount of marabou and clip to about a quarter inch. Tie in .20 lead wire and wrap 6-8 turns. Tie in Bodi-Braid at the hook point and wind up to just behind the eye of the hook. Wind back to about mid-shank, then forward again, building up a minnow-like body. Whip finish. Add eyes, coat with epoxy and allow to dry.

I have a fly rotisserie to turn my flies while they dry.

The reason is use Devcon 2-Ton Epoxy rather than 5-minute epoxy is that it allows me to do about six flies at a time. If you use a 5-minute epoxy, you can do one fly at a time.

It's a quick and easy fly to tie. And it will result in fish.

1. Put hook in vise, attach thread and tie in clump of marabou:

2. Trim marabou to about 1/4 inch:

3. Add 6-8 wraps of .20 gauge lead wire:

4. Tie in Bodi-Braid just in front of tail:

5. Wind forward and create minnow-shaped body:

6. Add 3D Stick-On Eyes:

7. Brush on Devcon 2-Ton Epoxy and place in fly turner to dry:

Here's an article about fishing the myakka. ~ Steve

About Steve:

Steve Gibson is a professional outdoor writer and kayak fishing guide who resides in Sarasota, Fla., his work has appeared in Florida Sportsman, Saltwater Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters, Gulf Coast Angler, Florida Fishing Weekly, Cabela's Online Magazine and other publications. Born in Huntington, W.VA., he graduated in 1971 from Marshall University with a B.A. in Journalism. He served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 1975. He has been the outdoor editor of the Sarasota Herald–Tribune for the past 32 years. He resides in Sarasota, Fla., with his wife, Kathy, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Jack. His website is

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice