Little Witchy by Jason Akl
As unusual as the thought might be to the die hard fly angler, trolling flies with down riggers to catch large lake dwelling species is a truly unique technique that can be very effective. Large fish residing in these deep water conditions readily take spoons and hard plastic baits, so putting a fly in front of their face that actually moves and resembles a real baitfish can only help to improve your odds. Trolling flies are not like other flies which are designed specifically to imitate real insects or minnows. Trolling flies like the Witchy are made to play into the voracious feeding behavior of large predatory fish, or more simply put just attract as much attention as possible in hopes that a lunker will take a quick swipe at the fly. Trolling flies follow the general shape of the minnow they are trying to imitate but use bold color, flash and movement to attract fish.
Don’t be scared off by the slightly messy look of trolling flies when they are out of the water. The layering of flash and hair can cause these special flies to look a little wild and unruly. When these flies get down deep in the water column the force the water exerts on the fly as it is propelled through the water change the features of the fly, compressing it down making it breathe as if it were moving under its own power. The difference between trolling flies and other fly patterns are that they are designed to look their best when moving underwater.
Materials Used in the Little Witchy
Hook: D82Z Daiichi Circle Wide Hook 1/0 Size, D97Q Daiichi Treble Hook Size 2
Thread: White Uni-Thread 8/0
Underbody: Silver Flashabou/ Pearl Krystal Flash
Topping: Black Krystal Flash/ Orange Krystal Flash
Throat: Red Krystal Flash
Tail: Red/ Gold Plastic Beads
Head: 5 Minute Epoxy/ Chartreuse Prismatic Eyes
1: Start this fly by placing the hook into the vice securely, and cutting an 8-inch piece of 40lb braided line. Pass the braided line through the eye of the hook and wrap the braided line down to the top of the hook shank with the tag end. Sneak the tag end of the line under the wrappings to hold the line in place then add a bit of epoxy to the wrapping to secure them in place for good.
2: Attach the thread to the hook shank and wrap down the hook until you reach the point above the barb. Clip a large bunch of silver flashabou twice the length that you would need for the fly and tie it down (at the fibers midpoint, so one end extends over the hook eye and the other off the back of the fly) to the top of the hook shank. After the fibers are tied down fold the silver flash over its self so that all of it is hanging off the rear end of the fly. Repeat this process but this time use the pearl krystal flash and tie it directly in front of the silver flash.
3: Clip a smaller bunch of black krystal flash and tie it in again in the same fashion as you did the first two bunches. Lastly clip a large bunch of orange krystal flash and tie it to the top of the hook shank securely. Make sure all of the bunches of flash are sitting on top of the hook shank and are held in place tightly. Flip the fly upside down and tie in 8 red krystal flash fibers for a set for gills. Whip-finish the thread and take your fly over to your epoxy station.
4: Apply a small amount of epoxy to the head of the fly and allow it to dry thoroughly. After this first coat of epoxy is dry, stick one eye to each side of the head. Apply a second coat of epoxy to the head bulletproofing it, but make sure the epoxy extends back far enough so that the flash fibers get cemented to the hook shank as well. After the head has completely dried, take the fly out of the vice and start sliding beads on the braided line alternating colors from red to gold. The first six beads should be a slightly larger size then the remaining beads. Leave about a half-inch or so of braided line with no beads so that the tail can more freely around in the water. Tie a large Daiichi treble hook to the end of the braided line and clip the tag end of the line off.