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EP-style Minnow Fly Step-by-Step:
More a style of tying than a singular pattern, the synthetic fiber streamers created and popularized by Enrico Puglisi have proven effective on fish across the globe. Generally more durable than their feathered counterparts, these flies boast a slow sink rate and flowing movement that make them irresistible to game fish. Tied in countless sizes and colors, these flies have a place in every angler’s streamer box.
|Gamakatsu SC15 (#1)||70 Denier (White)||Holographic Flashabou (Silver)|
|EP Fiber or similar(Blue/Black)||EP Fiber or Similar (White)||Adhesive Backed Eyes (Silver)|
|Copic Marker or sharpie||UV Resin|
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EP-style Minnow Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)
Tips and Tricks
- Shape and Color – The true beauty of this style of fly is it can be prepared to mimic a wide array of baitfish. Trimmed short with a high back in the right colors, and you have a bluegill fry. Long and tapered, and you have the shiner species of your choice. If you’re feeling creative blend the right combination of green, orange and white, and you’re only a few sharpied on vertical bars shy of a perch.
- Measure twice cut once – While the old carpenter’s adage doesn’t fit this situation exactly, the general sentiment still holds true. Take your time shaping your fly. It is significantly easier to cut a little extra after your initial trim than it is to start from scratch after cutting away too much material on your initial trim.
- Waste – This may be more an airing of grievances than an actual tip, but one thing that has always bothered me about this fly is the wasted material. Simply compare Step 8 to Step 9 above, and you’ll see what I mean. Roughly 50% of the material is removed while trimming. And while that can be reduced slightly as the tyer improves through repetition, the waste still remains substantial. In my case, I plan on bagging the excess and seeing if it can be put to later use in dubbing loops.
Proof of Concept
While the fly shown in this tutorial is tied on a size 1 Gamakatsu SC15, I spent a fair portion of the recent cold spell tying this pattern on hooks ranging from minute size 4 SC15s to size 1/0 B10S stingers. It was those smaller ties (#4s & #6s) that provide today’s proof of concept.
When the warm weather finally returned, and ice and cold were replaced with sun and temps in the 70s, I ventured to a nearby WMA in hopes of landing my first largemouth of the season.
While the hoped for bass were present cruising in the clear, shallow water, they consistently startled as my fly touched down. I persisted though and about an hour into my probing a small, broad flash emerged from the weeds lining the shallow pond and inhaled my bluegill fry patterned streamer. To my surprise, it was not a bass, but my first black crappie of the season.
Releasing the fish, I continued to prospect and continued to draw the attention of the crappie I had not realized inhabit this shallow, roadside drainage.
In all, the bite lasted roughly 30 minutes. And while poor hook sets and short strikes were the norm, I did bring three nice fish to hand. All on various patterns of EP-style minnow.