Trees, rocks, big fish – they don’t care you spent half an hour on that perfectly tied fly.
I know because I’ve pleaded with them to give me back my precious flies before. Deaf ears!
I’ve been on a quest the last several years to identify simple flies that use simple, inexpensive materials, and take less than 3 minutes to tie. And I have a bunch of them.
The Sexy Walt's.
The Sexy Walt's is especially useful on highly pressured fish in slow to moderately fast-moving water.
I’d tied this fly for a while but never actually fished it until Taylor Sharp (co-founder of Casting For Hope) and I were in the finals of the Rumble in the Rhododendron in Cherokee in 2014 (FYI, that was the first time this English teacher spelled rhododendron correctly without the assistance of spell check – ever!).
The fish were experiencing lockjaw from multiple sessions of really abled anglers putting a hurting on them.
The final session was far more than tough – and we drew the beat that gets more public pressure than any other on the Raven’s Fork. We’d picked up a few small fish but were struggling.
I decided it was time to give the Sexy Walt’s I’d heard so much about but couldn’t believe in a try – desperation has its long-term rewards!
After an hour, we filled our card.
Here’s the deal with this fly, I think. My dad has this theory – no matter how much you’ve had to eat, when you go to the bar and they pass out the peanuts, you’re going to have a handful of peanuts.
Fish are the same way. Over time, especially after a season (short or long) of pressure, fish start rethinking their meal choices. But give them a peanut, and they’ll eat. There’s no other reason midges work!
This is a peanut fly, and fish eat it up.
There’s nothing to scare fish away – no crazy rubber legs, no funky dubbing… Just simple.
Try it in a wide array of dubbing and ribbing colors (but don’t try black dubbing and red ribbing – it doesn’t work).
Fly tying materials
Hook: Here I’m using a #10 wide gap Orvis tactical hook, but you should use a wide variety of hooks and sizes to keep the pattern evolving in your box.
Bead: Nymph-Head® Evolution™ Caddis tungsten beadhead, olive – but try any variety of Nymph-Head® Evolution™, Heavy Metal™, or FlyColor™ beads in appropriate sizes; match colors to match the pheasant tail you’re using.
Weight: .020 lead wire.
Thread: I’m using fluorescent orange Veevus in 8/0 here – but make sure you also try fluorescent pink and chartreuse!
Body: Here I’m using a personal blend of hare’s ear natural dubbing with pink UV Ice Dub and other colors thrown in. Light Hare’s Ear is the gold standard for this fly.
Ribbing: Here I’m using silver metallic Sulky – but try a wide variety of Sulky holographic tinsels!
Fly tying instructions
Load and cement the bead with a thread base and a drop of Zap-A-Gap.
Load 10-12 wraps of .020 lead wire.
Cover the wire with thread and create a tapered body – but don’t worry about this too much. Just want the finished fly to have an appearance of a carrot. Then tie in the Sulky at the back.
From the back of the fly, dub a noodle lightly (you want to still see the thread through the dubbing…this is key…you want the body to show through slightly when the fly gets wet. Bring the noodle forward wrapping over the body. Make open spiral wraps with the Sulky to the head of the fly.
Whip finish a small hotspot just behind the bead.
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Be sure to read John's recent post, They're at your feet, dude! 6 reasons to make shorter casts when wade fishing.
About John Zimmerman:
With Taylor Sharp (pictured left), John Zimmerman (right) is co-owner of Upper Creek Angler and co-founder and Chairman of the Board of directors of Casting for Hope. Upper Creek Angler is a guide and custom-built fly-rod service based in Morganton, NC. Casting for Hope is a regional nonprofit that serves women and families in Western North Carolina following a diagnosis of ovarian or other gynecological cancer through financial assistance and retreat programs. Casting for Hope’s flagship fundraiser is the only official Trout Legend Gold-Level fly-fishing competition on the east coast and one of just three in the United States. Watch the brief video below to learn more about Casting for Hope and the work John, Taylor, and their team are doing in WNC for women and families affected by ovarian and other gynecological cancers.