Monday, January 28, 2013

Bomber Squadron

I've tied up a squadron of "Stealth Bombers" in preparation for spring bass fishing.


If you're not familiar with the Stealth Bomber fly, it's a foam pattern originated in the early 1990s by Kent Edmonds- a guide from Georgia who uses this pattern for Shoal Bass (Micropterus cataractae). I originally saw the pattern in the May/June 2010 issue of American Angler in an article about Shoalies. Tying instructions that originally appeared in the magazine are available online. Those directions don't provide much detail, but tying instructions for Kent's original version are also available on his website and are slightly more instructive. Either way, it's a really easy pattern to tie, and the variations you could come up with are virtually limitless. I tied a minor variation by accident, because for the first few I didn't realize that I was supposed to cinch down the head right behind the eye of the hook. Consequently, my first few have slightly larger heads that are more popper like... I have a feeling they'll still catch fish.


I also varied my pattern a bit from the recipe by using larger hooks, leaving off the underwing (don't think fish can see it anyway), and using different materials for the"belly" of the fly. I used several types of chenille for the belly while the original recipe suggests dubbing. I honestly don't think it will matter much. This isn't a very technical fly... it's an attractor pattern for bass.


These may be the first Stealth Bombers I've ever tied, but they won't be the first that I will ever fish. I found a few in the bargain bin at our local fly shop, Deep South Outfitters, last year and landed my best bass of 2012 on one.


I'm looking forward to catching some more like that with that aid of my new squadron.

Let's hope they're on target.

19 comments:

  1. Jay,

    Very nice work my friend. I read that same article and took an interest in the fly. It is on my list of things to tie at some point.

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    1. Jeff,
      I'm sure yours will turn out a bit prettier than mine. I used a lot of super glue along the way and some fairly heavy thread (210 denier) in hopes that they'll last a little longer. From my two days of experience fishing it last year, I really liked how it worked, and I think you will too.

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  2. Nice flies.
    Have you ever fished them for crappie, or sunfish?

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    1. It's a surface fly for sure, even though it may dive a little on the retrieve. That being said, I have only caught crappie on the surface like 4 or 5 times in my life. I also haven't fished it in a really good spot for crappie, but I think minnow pattern if I'm targeting them. As for the sunfish, I tied these with bigger hooks in hopes of excluding all but the biggest sunfish. In some of the streams where we fish, the little ones can become downright annoying.

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  3. Those are very cool flies. I will have to keep those in mind for bass and bluegill this year.

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    1. They've earned a spot in my bass box for sure. I tied these a little bigger to try and exclude some of the little bluegills. See comment above.

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  4. Jay
    I tried some of these poppers last year on the lake and got some savage hits early in the morning and anytime of the day one could find a shaded bank. Black was my favorite color. Some of my best hits came using a slight jerk with a long pause. The spots just couldn’t resist that type action. We will give them a try come Spring on Smith. I will let you know when the action starts.




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    1. Bill,
      I think I could probably tie up a handful for you in black in exchange for a boat ride on Smith Lake. Looking forward to it.

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  5. They look good and I'm sure the bass will love them. I hope to do some bass fishing with the fly rod this year and will keep these in mind.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Bill. If you ever need any info about fly fishing for bass, please don't hesitate to ask. I won't call myself an "expert," but I know a thing or two.

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  6. I tied a few of these after reading that magazine article. To my pleasant surprise, they had a lot of wiggle when pulled under the surface. Like fishing a floating Rapala!

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    1. I would agree, they do have some pretty good action when stripped. Are you still in the fly tying business? I still haven't gotten into making my own Bunny Butt Sliders.

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    2. I still dabble. A recent move to Utah has put a hold on any larger-scale opporations for now.

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  7. Nice Jay. What's a good size to tie them in?

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    1. I'm tying them in size 1 and 2 for bass, and I have some 4s in the works which should be big enough for bass but shouldn't exclude the Bluegills like the 1s and 2s. The magazine template is supposedly for a size 6, but I used that template on size 2 hooks. I made a smaller template for the 4s, and of course a bigger one for the 1s.

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    2. I forgot to mention that I'm using a different hook, so that may make up for the difference. The hooks I'm using are shorter with a wider gap than what the original recipe calls for.

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  8. Cool, You know how I like to tie with foam. May have to add a few to my Bass arsenal! Nice ties!

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    1. If you love foam, this may be your new favorite bass fly. They're pretty easy to tie. The hardest part is cutting out the foam, and there are cutters available for that now... if you get real serious about mass production.

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  9. Hi, my stealth bomber dives but it doesn't wiggle like rapala. What's wrong with it? I use cutter #10, tied on #10 B10S. Thank you!

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