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The Cape Cod Sand Eel is basically a slim "half & half", "deep deceiver" or "Clouciever" style fly - popular in New England for imitating sand eels and other slim baits.
HOOK: Mustad 34007 Size 1/0
THREAD: Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon - White
TAIL: Two thin White Saddle Hackles over a short, sparse clump of White Bucktail.
- Optionally two addtional Grizzly hackles over the two white ones.
TAIL FLASH: Polarflash - three or four strands of Gold #2010 on each side of the tail feathers
BODY: Gudebrod HT Braid; Pearl
WING: Chartreuse Bucktail over white Bucktail
WING FLASH: 8-10 strands Polarflash Green Pearl #2006 and 6-8 strands Krystal Flash Fl Chartreuse #05 between the layers of bucktail
EYES: Size Medium Plated Lead Eyes; painted black on white
GILL: Diamond Braid, Red or Red Marking pen
FINISH COATING: Softex and/or Epoxy
1. Start the Cape Cod Sand Eel by tying in the lead eyes on top of the hook shank; just slightly forward of the mid-point of the hook shank.
2. Tie in a very short and sparse clump of bucktail on top of the hook shank, and to the rear of the lead eyes. This clump should extend beyond the bend of the hook by only an inch (2.5 cm) or so.
3. Tie in two matched saddle hackles over the sparse bucktail clump. These hackles should be slim and flexible, and tied in deceiver style (this fly is really a very sparse 1/2 & 1/2; Clouser/Deceiver). Each hackle is approximately 3 3/4 inches (9.5 cm) long before tying in. As a variation, you can tie in the hackles flatwing-style.
4. Add 3-4 strands of flash material along each side of the feather tails.
5. Add another short, sparse clump of bucktail over the feather tails, then add a drop of Softex or similar solvent based flexible coating to the area at the base of the feather tails. If you want to keep things clean, you can add this drop at the base of the tails when you've finished tying the whole fly.
6. Wrap a body using the Pearl HT Braid. Tie in the braid at the base of the tail, then wrap it forward and tie it off just ahead of the lead eyes. You can substitute Diamond Braid, Flat Diamond Braid, Bill's Bodi Braid, or similar materials for the body. Tiers can also vary the body color of this fly with different colors of braid; a silver or gold body looks nice on some variations.
7. Add a wrap or two of Red Diamond Braid or HT Braid just to the rear of the lead eyes to create a gill color on the fly. You can substitute a red marking pen if you prefer.
8. Rotate the hook in the vise, then tie in a sparse clump of white bucktail just ahead of the lead eyes to form the wing. Split the bucktail on each side of the hook point. Add Flash materials, then a top wing of Chartreuse Bucktail. The underwing of bucktail is approximately 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm) long on this size fly; the overwing should be kept slightly shorter than the underwing.
9. Carefully coat the entire head (including the lead eyes) of the fly with Softex, Soft Body, or a similar flexible coating (make sure your work area is well ventilated when working with solvent based products!). Work the Softex or Soft Body into the first 3/8" (.5 cm) or so of the wing of the fly, and add a drop at the base of the tails if you haven't done this already (this will stiffen the base of the tail and wing, and help the fly to resist fouling during the cast). After the first coat has dried, add a top coat to the head and eyes of the fly. A topcoat of epoxy can be substituted, but remember that this will add a significant amount of additional weight to the fly (which may or may not be desirable).
Go fishing and have fun!
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