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Bill Laminack’s Gummy Pilchard…Fish Candy!

This is called the Gummy Pilchard.
I got the idea from a friend via Facebook. They were using 3M VHB Clear double sided tape to make 5 minute Bonita flies. Their version is merely a little flash material with the tape pinched over the hook shank. They would cut it to shape to create a small simple fly to represent the near invisible tiny baitfish that Bonita blitz on.

This fly is a bit different and I believe can be used to represent a variety of bait fish, including a Pilchard.  You can reach Bill via his Facebook Page here 

pilchard fly fishing

The materials are very simple and the whole process takes just a few minutes.

Tying Steps:

  1. Wrap on a base of thread. Tie on the weed guard.
  2. Next cut a piece of the foil tape that is close to the length of the hook shank and fold it in half. Trim the foil tape to the shape of the abdominal cavity of a minnow. Peel the backing and fold it over the shank and pinch it together.
  3. Next tie in a small clump of the Angel Hair leaving it long enough to create an over hang for the tail.
  4. Next cut off a length of the 3M tape to the length that you want the fly to be. Now, with out touching the exposed tape press the exposed side down on to the Parchment paper. This allows you to fold the tape in half lengthwise to trim the tape into the shape of the bait that you want to imitate. After the tape is cut to shape, take the parchment paper off and use your Bodkin or something pointed to hold the tail end of the tape down. Using the marker create a line about 3/8″ wide down the center line of the tape. Now when you apply the tape to the fly the color is on the inside.
  5. Now gather all of the Angel Hair into a tight clump and and hold it out straight in the position that you want the tail to be. Apply the 3M tape exposed side down over the hook shank covering the Metallic foil tape and Angel Hair. Pinch the 3M tape together pressing firmly to eliminate any bubbles. Trim off the excess Angel Hair to make a short tail.
  6. Now carefully peel off the backing of the 3M tape being sure not to touch it because you will leave finger prints. At this point, I lay the fly down on the parchment paper again to apply the eyes. Once the eyes are in place coat the entire fly with the Sally Hanson’s. This will give it a coat that allows handling while leaving the fly soft and “gummy”.

I found that after a little casting the air and water would open up the front of the fly causing it to fail. In order to prevent this, I am trying a coating of 5 minute Epoxy over the opening close to the eye of the hook and the seam at the bottom of the leading edge. Also covering the eyes to help them stay in place. After applying the Epoxy I rotate it until it is cured. Then it is a done deal, ready to fish.

I have caught Speckled Trout and Ladyfish on it in my day on the water with it. I am sure that the species list that falls for it will grow rapidly. Give it a shot!


About Bill Laminack

I spend most of my fly fishing time, poling the marshy areas and grass flats in my Gheenoe, looking for redfish and speckled trout. I live in Panama City and I am looking to spend as much time this year in search of my first Tarpon on the fly.

I started my fly tying in the mid 90’s. Oddly enough, I did way more fly tying than I did fly fishing. I eventually quit fishing totally for several years. That all changed in about 2008 when I bought a kayak and began learning my local waters. I was severely hooked and I spent as much time as possible out on the water. Last summer I started throwing flies again and now it has become a passion! I have been back to tying flies since last summer

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