Daiichi 2546 # 3/0
Orange, Danville's waxed flymaster +
Saltwater Cape -or- Deceiver Hackle
Tarpon Fly, Stu Apte Tarpon Fly or Orange/Yellow Death; no matter what you call this fly it's a proven winner for big Tarpon. A very easily tied pattern, requiring only a few materials and less than a few minutes. Try this pattern for Pike and Muskie; tied in smaller sizes for Smallmouth.

Step By Step:
What You Need
Start with a secure thread base.
For each side of the tail you'll need 2-4 feathers. If you've got the proper saltwater cape, choose each side from the corresponding side of the cape. Right for right, left for left. If you don't, just try to make sure the feathers have a slight down and out bend to them. Strip the ends to aid when tying in.*
Tie in the first set of tail feathers. Try and get them to naturaly bend down and out.
Tie in the second set on the opposite side. You may need to make a couple "figure 8"thread wraps between the feathers to help split them, especially if you're not using proper sided hackle.
Using 2-4 more feathers, prepared in the same manner as the tail feathers, tie them in just in front of the tail.
Palmer forward and tie off, leaving just enough room for the addition of one more feather.
Add 1-2 contrasting colored feathers, prepared like the others, tie in.
Palmer feather to the end of your thread wraps. Half hitch or whip finish.
Build up head, whip finish.
Cover head in epoxy, add eyes if desired.

Additional Tips/Photos:
  • These flies are tied in a variety of colors, experiment!
  • Try tying this pattern in smaller sizes, 2-6, and pitch em' for smallies.
  • A stainless steel hook is not a must.
  • Try and use feathers that have a bend to them, both down and out; it'll give the fly better action as the feathers collapse and spring back out on the strip.
  • * I don't flatten the hackle stems. I find most times if I don't get the flat perfect it's about impossible to re-position them.
Tied By: Eric Zadorecky.