Streamers: Step-by-step fly tying instructions
Fish-Skull Masked Minnow designed by Martin Bawden.
This weightless streamer works well in warm-water rivers and saltwater environments.
The Fish-Skull Masked Minnow is tied with the award-winning Fish-Skull® Fish-Mask™ to help it suspend in the water column. Ultra-realistic Fish-Skull® Living Eyes™ act as an important trigger for predatory gamefish.
Fly tying materials
Head: Fish-Skull® Fish-Mask™, #6 or #4.
Eyes: Fish-Skull® Living Eyes™, 6 mm or 4 mm, ice.
Hook: Standard saltwater, stainless, #1 (with Fish-Mask #6) or #4 (with Fish-Mask #4).
Tail - bottom: Bucktail, white.
Tail - middle: Flashabou, pearl.
Tail - top: Pearl/mirage, or olive.
Body: Ice Dub, pearl.
Thread dam: White.
Fly tying instructions
Secure the hook in the vise as shown.
Attach your thread (mono or white) to the hook and lay a strong thread base on the shank.
Note: Leave a large gap between the thread and the eye of the hook to make room for the Fish-Mask.
Take a small clump of bucktail and adjust it to extend about 1.5x the hook length past the back of the hook.
Carefully tie the bucktail onto the back of the hook using strong thread wraps.
Use about 20-30 strands of pearl Flashabou.
Measure a length of Flashabou that will be about the same or slightly longer length than the bucktail. Tie in the Flashabou securly on top of the bucktail with strong thread wraps.
Cut the excess Flashabou.
Use about 20-30 strands of olive (or pearl/mirage) Flashabou. Measure a length of Flashabou 2x as long as the bottom layer. You'll be folding back the Flashabou to create a third layer, so you need to use long strands.
Tie in the top layer of Flashabou slightly in front of the bottom layer of Flashabou.
Note: See the extra length of Flashabout that is extending past the hook eye. This will soon be folded back to form a 3rd layer of Flashabou.
Measure a small clump of Ice Dub that will extend slightly past the hook when tied in.
Tie in 2 small clumps of pearl Ice Dub on either side of the hook to create the belly of the fly.
Lift and fold back the Flashabou.
Firmly tie down the Flashabou. This is important so the Flashabou lies flat along the top of the fly.
Tie off your thread and use head cement.
Note: There should be a small gap left between the hook eye and thread. You need a little space to fit the Fish-Mask.
Put super glue on all sides of the thread wraps (360º).
Fit the Fish-Mask onto the fly from the front. Position in place against the materials. Make sure the Fish-Mask is positioned evenly on the hook shank.
Re-attach your tying thread in front of the Fish-Mask and wrap a small thread dam to lock the Fish-Mask firmly in place on the fly.
Use head cement on your thread wraps and tie off.
Put a small drop of super glue in the Fish-Mask eye sockets.
Put a Living Eye in each eye socket.
The next step is to trim the fly. It will look something like this before trimming.
Trim the tail to shape by gently feathering under the fly using a pair of sharp scissors.
Your goal is to create a natural taper towards the back of the fly.
Trim the belly of the fly by gently feathering under it.
Use a comb to brush the belly of the fly. The brushing will cause the Ice Dub to straighten out and cling together.
These are the general proportions you should be aiming for. The tail of the fly is about 2x the hook length.