Fly Fishing
Fly Tying

Sneaky Pete Sneaky Pete

Tiemco 8089 #10
Round Rubber &
Chartreuse Antron
Black Hackle
Perfect Popper Body
Round Rubber
Painted or Prismatic

The Sneaky Pete is quickly becoming one of the most popular top water Smallmouth flies around. It's easy to tie, durable and deadly effective. While a top water pattern, the Sneaky Pete is classified as a slider, not popper. Rather than splashing about and creating a comotion, the reversed, cone-shaped body slides through the water creating an enticing "V" wake. Trust us, the Smallies love it!

Step By Step:
Attach your tying thread near the eye and lay down a good thread base to help improve the bond between body and hook.
Mix up some 5-minute epoxy, coat the top of the hook shank and attach the popper body. Make sure the body is straight, not cocked to one side. Before epoxying it's a good idea to dry fit the body to the hook. I like to tie this fly in batches and typically epoxy a dozen at a time.
Go ahead and paint the body. Model paint works well, or spray paint to do a whole batch quickly. Just remember to tape off the hook before spraying. The most popular color is definitly chartreuse. Years ago I did a batch in plain yellow and never noticed a difference (fishing wise). One of my personal favorite colors is Testors light metalic green. It's very frog-like.
Once the paint dries, attach your thread behind the body and tie in 4 white rubber legs. Rubber tends to slip, so tying in two strands doubled over is recommended. Trim the legs to about 2x the body length.
On top of this add a good bunch of chartreuse antron yarn about the length of the body. At this point I like to add a tiny drop of thin head cement to the thread wraps to improve durability.
Select a long black hackle with fibers about as long as the width of the body. Stroke the fibers back and tie it in by it's tip, above the antron.
Wrap the hackle forward in tight wraps untill you reach the back of the body. Take as many turns as you've got room for. Tie off the hackle, trim the excess and whip finish. I'll generally add another drop of head cement to any exposed thread wraps.
Make a hole through the body, about 2/3rds of the way back, for the legs. The best way on a hard styrofoam body is with a bodkin. Heat the bodkin with a lighter untill the tip is beginning to glow red. Push the bodkin through the fly and quickly remove it before it cools.
Place two long strands of white rubber through a floss threader and place the threader through the hole. It's easiest if you don't seperate the rubber strands untill after you've gotten them in place.
Use the threader to pull the legs through the hole. I generally place a small drop of zap-a-gap on the legs before pulling them into the final position. Trim the legs to 1-1.5x the body length and seperate the rubber strands.
Now for the fun part, "decorating" the fly! Start by adding eyes. You can paint them or use stick-on prizmatic eyes and a drop of epoxy.
Add a few black markings on the body. You can use a permanent marker, but I find a paint pen is just as easy and more durable. Also, if you plan on clear coating the body DON'T use marker. Something in the clear coat makes the marker run and ruin your fancy paint job.
One very important thing... add a bit of red on the underside of the fly. Not sure why, but it seems to make a big difference in catch rates.
I'll also place a few marks up on top just to make the fly look a bit more appealing, and sometimes tip the legs in red with a permanent marker. If you want, coat the fly with a clear coat to help keep the paint from cracking off after a few days on the water. I know I seem to obsess over durability, but the way I see it, it takes about 10 minutes to tie a fly that will hold up to a few fish. It takes maybe 11 minutes to tie a fly that will last through 100's of Smallies and several seasons.

Additional Tips/Photos:
  • You can tie the Sneaky Pete in a variety of colors. Chartreuse is the most popular, but yellow, black, white, red and green are also productive.
  • Have fun with it! Try using different leg and hackle color combos. The Sneaky Pete's profile and action seem to be the important thing, so go wild.
  • For efficiency, tie in batches. Epoxy all of the bodies at once, then paint. Tie up the tails and collars at once, then finish the bodies.
Tied By: Brian Doelle.

Sneaky Pete

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