Bad Hair Day Step-by-Step

Bad Hair Day Step-by-Step:

After a near two-month hiatus, we’re slowly finding our way back to the vice. Admittedly time and motivation are still in short supply two months post-Hurricane, but I’ll do my best to take advantage when either presents itself. And, as it happens, just such an opportunity did arise as I made my way to Alexandria for the KFF monthly fly tying meeting in mid-October.

A two-hour drive, I always attempt to squeeze in a few hours of fishing on these visits. And, on this particular day, that meant Chain Pickerel. Rare in south Louisiana, the Alexandria area offers improved odds of targeting these fish, and I was hopeful the recent cold front would have them migrating back to the shallows. However, two-plus hours and a handful of bass later, those hopes had been dashed.

Heading to the meeting, I shared my account of the afternoon with my fellow anglers and received the type of response I’ve become accustomed to with this group. Along with plenty of tips, this meant fellow angler, Jim Johnson, digging through his bag and placing a pair of flies in my hand. A mass of disheveled white & chartreuse craft fur tapered to a baitfish profile, the flies were Dave Pinczkowski’s Bad Hair Day. Jim’s go-to for chain pickerel.

Gamakatsu B10S (#1-4) 140 Denier (white)Materials Craft Fur (White)
Materials Craft Fur (Olive over White)Materials Flashabou (Color to Match)Materials Ice Dub (Olive)

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Bad Hair Day Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Ice Dub Optional – While Pinczkowski’s original pattern calls for the clump of Ice Dub dubbing at the front of the fly, Jim’s downsized offering forgoes this step. Both fish fine in my limited experience, so feel free to skip Step 10 should you lack the required material.
  2. Weight – To date, I’ve only tied this streamer weightless. However, consider a few wraps of Lead-free wrap along the center of the hook shank should you need to get this fly lower in the water column.

Proof of Concept

While the flies Jim passed along were intended for Chain Pickerel, I decided to give them a try the following morning nearer to home. Rigging my 3wt with a slightly stouter leader than normal, I tied on one of the streamers and headed out in search of fish.

Shallow (12-18″) and weedy, the location I chose can prove a challenge to fish. However, fish are plentiful and the payoff is often well worth the hassle of weedy snags when you hit on the right pattern. Such proved to be the case today as a dark shadow enveloped my fly on only the second cast.

My second Bowfin of the season, the fish gave my 3wt all it could handle before sliding ashore.

Tight Lines!


Species Caught on the Bad Hair Day Fly to Date:
  1. Bowfin
  2. Largemouth Bass
  3. Warmouth
  4. Longear Sunfish
  5. Spotted Bass

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6 thoughts on “Bad Hair Day Step-by-Step

  1. Glad you liked it Chris. I’ve tied it as small as a 6 and caught white bass up to a 2/0 for Largemouths

    1. Thanks, Jim! My big issue with the smaller size is the one you brought up. I need to trim down the craft fur to get the appropriate length. As for tying up to 2/0, I plan on trying a few in that size for Tiger Muskie next time I make it to upstate NY.

  2. Just tied up a couple of these and anxious to fish it. I put in vertical bars in my first after watching Pinczkowski’s video but not sure it would be better or not. What colors would you tie it if targeting redfish?

    1. I admittedly have yet to try this pattern out on redfish, but I would imagine a Black over Purple could pay dividends in shallow, stained or muddy water. If the water is clearer, I’d try a predominantly white or gray/green over white pattern as a quick and easy finger mullet mimic.

    2. As for the vertical bars, I’ve been considering some added detail as well. A “Yellow Perch” version with similar barring will likely find its way into my box before my next trip north.

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