FLINT RIVER SHOAL BASS - CHATTAHOOCHEE STRIPERS
LARGEMOUTH BASS & BREAM LAKES - GAR & CARP
Add a Flashtail for a Better Streamer
My most productive fly for river stripers is the flashtail whistler as tied by Dan Blanton. My version is pictured above. I like to tie it on Gamakatsu 60 degree jig hooks - the fly rides hook-up and the every fish is top-lip hooked.
For years, Dan Blanton has advised fly tiers to add the "flashtail" to streamers. Like a lot of other good advice, I chose to ignore it. I'd always liked flash tied in uneven lengths. Dan's technique called for a tail of flashabou cut squarely 1/2" to 1 1/2" longer than the tail. I tried tying a few that way, but they looked funny to me so I re-cut the flash to unequal lengths before the flies left the vise.
Then a few years ago Bob Clouser was down fishing shoal bass on the Flint River with me. Bob gave me a few of his flies and they all had flashtails. He said he'd been using them for quite a while. When I saw them in the water, I finally understood what the big deal was.
For something that looks so humdrum when dry, the action of the "flashtail" is truly amazing. It swims, kicks and flutters. It looks so much like a fish that I often catch a glimpse of it in the water and think a fish has just flashed on me.
Now, I don't expect to convince you about the effectiveness of the "flashtail." My plan here is just to get you to just put one in the water. Once you see how it moves and how the fish respond, you won't take much convincing.
I put flashtails on almost all big flies these days. I like silver and the holographic pearl as I'm usually tying big shad imitations for stripers. In addition to the action and flash the "flashtail" adds, another big plus is the appearance of bulk it gives while adding little in weight or air resistance. That means longer, easier casts with lighter rods.
Here's a 3/0 bucktail deceiver that took a 43 lb striper on the Chattahoochee River .
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