March’s fly of the month is the Fat boy fly. This baitfish pattern is sort of a combination of the Deceiver, Flashy profile and Surf candy patterns with the emphasis on the fuller rounder body shape (as the name suggests). The expanded mylar tubing used to form the head gives this pattern a realistic baitfish shape, strong underwater signature and allows for the use of less wing material (greatly reduced bulk) for the size of the fly meaning for its size it is still relatively easy to cast. Pretty much any fish that eats baitfish can be caught on this fly including all Trevally species, Queenfish, Cobia, Mangrove jack, all Mackerel species, Tailor, Snapper, all Emperor species, most Tuna species, Mahi Mahi, Australian Salmon (Kahawai), Samson fish, Yellow Tailed Kingfish etc etc. This fly can be tied in many colour variations and the head (mylar or body tubing) cone can be controlled while tying in to form a small, medium, large, round, oval, tall or wide head shape, whatever is required to imitate the baitfish in your chosen fishing area. The Fat boy usually doesn’t require a lot of flash or material movement and relies on its size, profile, eye and colour to elicit a strike. Its important for this fly to have its head cone tied in high with the underside hard up to the hook shank so the hook gape is not compromised. The fly is essentially hollow with most of the body/wing materials tied in at the front and then spread around and over the head cone and glued down with tee shirt paint (originally) or flexible UV fly finish to the back of the head cone to help stop the wing materials from fowling around the hook while casting. This fly is my personal go to fly for big Queen fish, GT’s, Cobia and Mangrove jacks and deserves a place in everyone’s fly box for Exmouth.
Recipe: in order of tying.
Hook – size 2/0# - 6/0# Gamakatsu SL12S.
Thread – Flat waxed 210 denier, white or chosen colour for baitfish colour.
Underbody/Flash – 1 small tapered bunch of white kinky fibre (chosen wing/body material) plus 2 strands each side of flashabou or lateral scale in pearl or silver colour tied onto the hook shank back above the point of the hook extending approx. 2 hook lengths beyond the back of the hook bend.
If desired you can add some lead wire around the hook shank for a weighted sinking Fatboy fly at this stage.
Head (cone) – 1 length of pearl or clear EZ Body tubing (of desired size to suit baitfish profile & hook size) tied in a few millimeters behind the hook eye facing forward, then folded back over its self to form the head cone and tied off again at the same point and any excess tubing over the hook eye cut away.
If desired you can add a foam plug glued inside the head cone for a floating (stickbait style) Fatboy fly at this stage.
Overwing/body – 2 tapered bunches of white or offwhite Kinky fibre tied in on the bottom half and 2 tapered bunches of white, grey, light olive or shrimp tan Kinky fibre tied in on the top half. All bunches should be spread (pushed around hook shank with a little fingernail pressure) around the hook shank and extend back with the tips around 3 x the hook length.
Topping/dorsal line – Add a very small tapered bunch of darker Kinky fibre (dark grey, dark olive or black) to the top to form a dorsal line and some contrast to the profile.
Glue head – Apply an even thin coat of UV flex glue over the entire head on top of the fibres from the tie in point extending to the back edge of the head cone, then pinch the wing fibres with your fingers and apply a small amount of tension to ensure the desired shape and set the glue with the UV torch.
Eyes – Apply 2 stick on eyes (1 each side) to suit the baitfish style you’re trying to imitate.
Head – Apply another thin coat of UV flex glue over the entire head and eyes to make the fly a little more hardy and stop the eyes from coming off.
Tie the Fatboy onto fluorocarbon 40lb bite tippet with a lefty’s loop knot to allow for maximum movement. Usually retrieved using large, long single strips or fast with a double overhanded strip, get some in your box now !
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