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bonefishing hawaii:

the orange bombing pepper a.k.a. firetail


okay, the brown charlie blog got some good feedback and since i was riding the ole nor-vise (www.nor-vise.com) today... here we go again.  the slight increase in clouds this week along with the humanga-ganga tides made me think of the orange bombing pepper.  it is also known as ďfiretailĒ to the little rat that often bounces around my vise (my nephew) while iím tying.


the orange bombing pepper is a hybrid fly taking parts from a crazy charlie, gotcha, christmas island special, and chili pepper.  well, not so much from a chili pepper.  i guess the overall look to it is sort of chili pepperesque.  anyway the point is it just combines different aspects of different flies.


the orange bombing pepper is a large, bright fly.  i like throwing big bright stuff like this on overcast days or low light times of the day.  also on the super high tides which accompany the new and full moon.  i always feel more confident that a fish will be able to find it better in the murky, featureless, sea of the two foot plus tides in hawaii. 


a big bright fly can also trigger the reaction bite from the bigger bones in shallow water (if  you can present the fly without spooking the fish first... a big if).  sometimes they just canít pass up an easy meal of such proportions.  iíve had big fish spook, swirl around and clobberhouse flies like this.  if you spook a bonefish and it is running away itís pretty much game over, however a fly like the orange bombing pepper is one of the few things that can make them change their minds about taking off... or at least make them think about it.



the shtuff.


hook:  standard sw hook (mustad 3407, 34007, tiemco 811) size 2, 1, or even 1/0 if youíve got the balls.

thread:  flo orange flatwax

eyes:  5/32 gold brass eyes (3/16 on flies larger than sz. 2)

tail:  hot orange krystal flash

body:  flat pearl mylar tinsel and clear v-rib or stretch tubing

wing:  orange calf tail

overwing:  hot orange krystal flash  (donít get excited thatís just the wing on top of the other wing which is the under wing... get it?)


attach eyes... remember this?



tie in eight strands of krystal flash, at about the halfway point of the flash, right behind the brass eye.  gather the strands of k flash together, pull them back and tie them in.



advance the thread forward to behind the eye and tie in the v-rib back to the tail.  remember it is important to tie the rib starting from right behind the eye.  this will give the fly an even body and avoid hump butt.  from that point tie in a piece of flat pearl mylar.  the mylar can be tied in from the tail forward and doesnít have to run all the way to the eye as the mylar is thin and wonít  affect the body shape.  advance the thread forward to in front of the brass eyes.



wrap the mylar forward so that there are no gaps in between wraps.  make a figure 8 wrap with the mylar around the brass eyes and tie in with three or so wraps of thread.  trim excess mylar.


now wrap the ribbing (v-rib) forward just like the mylar was and tie off.  cutt off the excess v-rib.


tie in a long bunch of calf tail.  bucktail can also be used but i just love me my calf tails. 


a word about calf tail:

most calf tails are built the same.  the bottom part of the tail has the shortest hairs and the top has the longest hairs.  when i get a calf tail  i usually look at the hairs and cut the tail into three parts.  wire cutters work well for this as does some garden shears.  the first section has most of the short hairs which are good for small flies 6ís and smaller.  the second section has the medium size 4 hairs.  the last piece to the tip of the tail i keep for larger flies like this one.  the hair at the tips start to curl.  these can still be used by cutting a piece, holding the bunch by the tips, and kind of rolling the hair between your fingers.  of course this only works up to a certain point.  after that the hairs get too curly to use efficiently.


tie in four strands of krystal flash right behind the eye of the hook.  the flash is tied the same way as it was for the tail.  fold it back and tie it in.  make a nice thread head, whip finish, and cement the head.


finished fly!  how can any self respecting world class hawaii bonefish pass that up?  thereís no way! tie up a dozen or so and go pound it...  iím gonna.  good times.




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