Translucent Saltwater Streamer

Translucent Saltwater Streamer

  • By: A. K. Best
Translucent Saltwater Streamer

I preach that less is more when it comes to tying saltwater streamers. My theory on this comes from doing a lot of snorkeling in Caribbean waters. One year my wife and I were snorkeling in a small bay on St. Thomas Island, looking for the beautiful colored fish that live near that area’s lava rocks. Alas, there were none there. Instead, there were thousands of three- to four-inch baitfish huddled near the rocks. We turned our view toward the center of the bay and saw literally hundreds of tarpon waiting for their meal. The tarpon obviously drove the nearly invisible baitfish to perceived safety near the rocks. The first thing we noticed about the baitfish were their eyes, then a very thin, dark dorsal stripe and a nearly translucent body that only flashed when they turned away from us. So I’ve been tying my striped bass and tarpon flies to match what we saw.

Recipe

  • Hook: Mustad 34007 stainless, size 4 to 5/0
  • Thread: Danville’s #1 white single-strand floss
  • Tail: Small clump of red Krystal Flash
  • Body: Pearlescent Mylar braid
  • Underwing: Sparse clump of white Kinky Fibers
  • Underwing topping: Sparser clump of pearlescent Krystal Flash
  • Overwing: Very small clump of emerald green Fishhair
  • Topping: Six or eight strands of black Fishhair
  • Eyes: Yellow, with black pupil
  1. Attach tying thread two hook-eye spaces behind the eye and wind to the rear, stopping just above the hook point. Clip off the tag. Tie in a small clump of red Krystal Flash beginning at thread start. Lash it down to the end of the shank. Tail length should be equal to hook point and barb. Tie in pearlescent Mylar braid in front of thread start and lash it down to the end of the shank and wind forward. Clip off the excess on top of the hook immediately in front of the thread start.
  2. Tie on a small clump of white Kinky Fibers in front of the body and tie down. Lift the butts and clip them off immediately behind the hook eye. Length should be twice the hook length plus one hook gap space.
  3. Tie on a small clump of pearlescent Krystal flash on top of the underwing. Length should be slightly shorter than underwing.
  4. Tie on a sparse amount (about ¼ the mass of the Kinky Fibers) of Emerald Green Fishhair on top of the Mylar and Krystal Flash. Tie down. Length should be slightly shorter than the Kinky Fibers.
  5. Select six or eight strands of black Fishhair and tie it onto the hook on top of the Emerald Green. Length should be a bit shorter than the emerald green.
  6. Paint (or stick on) yellow-and-black eyes, and apply three or four coats of shiny head lacquer. See finished fly, above left.