Kantner’s Rivet Fly Step-by-Step

Kantner’s Rivet Fly Step-by-Step:

A point of emphasis in my recent posts has been the importance of mimicking smaller forage species when targeting snook, tarpon and other species along south Florida’s Tamiami Trial.  Mosquitofish and mollies abound in this system, and, as a result, preference is often given to small streamers including Marabou Muddlers and Glades Minnows.  Still, larger forage species do exist in this system, and, at times, an angler needs to be prepared to imitate these species as well.    

Among these larger forage species, the unique and invasive Pike Topminnow is perhaps the most important to the angler.  A bizarre relation of the native sailfin molly, the invasive Pike Minnow bears a striking resemblance to its namesake; a large toothy jaw protruding from an otherwise Poecillidae profile.  Reaching 4+” in length, these livebearers strike a larger profile in the water than their native cousins.  And, when the fish are keyed in on them, a similarly profiled fly, such as Kantner’s Rivet fly, is called for.

Named for the guard rail fasteners to which they bear a slight resemblance, the Rivet fly is the creation of south Florida “Land Captain,” Steve Kantner.  Perhaps the most knowledgeable angler you’ll meet with regards to south Florida shore fishing, Kantner designed his fly specifically for those days when snook and tarpon were keying in on Pike Topminnows. 

Full of motion imparted by both a craft fur tail and rabbit fur collar, the pattern glides and darts just below the surface; pushing water and creating a wake (and profile) in line with the abundant and invasive Pike Topminnow.  Tied here on a size 4 hook, this pattern is just the ticket for roadside Tarpon and Snook along the Tamiami Trails western end.

Gamakatsu SS15 (#2-4) 140-Denier (White) Materials Craft Fur (Tan/Light Brown)
Materials Flashabou (Pearl) or equivalent Materials Zonker Strip (Tan over White)Materials Deer Hair (Black)
Materials Double-sided Razorblade

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Kantner’s Rivet Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

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Tips and Tricks

  1. Substitutions – The Rivet is a fairly simple pattern without much room for substitution.  That said, there are always a few things to swap out.  For example, Kantner originally tied his Rivet fly with a hackle tail in place of craft fur.  So, if you’re short on craft fur, tie in a few Grizzly Hackle and see how it fishes.  Similarly, flash selection is always a bit subjective.  While I referenced flashabou in the recipe table, the example above utilizes Ripple Ice Fiber, and I’ve utilized finer Ice Wing fiber for these as well. 
  2. Razorblade or Scissors – While I used a double-sided razor in the above example, simple deer hair flies such as the muddler can also be created with scissors.  The outcome may not look quite as clean, but, as long the hair is trimmed evenly, it should still swim true.  So…don’t worry about rushing out to purchase double-sided razors before you start this tie.  Just take your time, and scissors should do the trick.

Proof of Concept

While I found myself back along the Tamiami Trail in late April, I admittedly never got around to tying on a Rivet along the way. With patterns like Clouser’s Minnow and a chartreuse Glades Minnow already producing, it was just too difficult to make the switch.

With that in mind, and no further Tamiami trips planned for this spring, I’d ask each of you to give it a try on your home waters this spring and let me know how it performs. I’ll be happy to share the pictures here for other readers to enjoy.

Tight Line!


Species Caught on the Kantner’s Rivet Fly to Date:

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