Mylar tubing is nothing new to fly tiers. It has been used for decades to create all kinds of minuscule minnow patterns, and it’s a staple ingredient in countless bonefish bugs. I love the material’s pearlescent and translucent qualities. Mylar tubing also has a wiry structure when unraveled; you can use this unique quality to create smaller baitfish flies that tend to move water, as well as much larger patterns that don’t collapse when wet. The classic pearl color is nearly perfect for matching baitfish bellies, and silver, gold, and a wide array of other colors imitate the backs of baitfish. Color and profile are two critical characteristics of this material, but Mylar tubing is also easy to use.
Tying on one section of tubing at a time makes the prep work easier and takes the guesswork out of where to place the material on the hook; you won’t have to count hairs or taper bundles of fibers. Simply tie the consecutively shorter sections of tubing onto the hook shank. If you want to make a smaller baitfish or a pattern with a thinner profile, start with a shorter length of tubing and use fewer pieces; for making a longer, wider fly, do the opposite. Once you have tied on the sections of tubing, comb the fibers free and trim to shape.
Using this technique, it’s also easy to ensure that your baitfish is symmetrical. As you will see, before using the dog brush, simply gather up the tubing on the top and bottom of the fly and trim to the same length.
Super-flashy flies may not be the ticket for every fishing scenario, but I encourage you to try the Platinum Pilchard. Tying it might take a little practice, but once you understand the basics of baitfish construction, you can move past Mylar tubing and experiment with any type of materials you choose.
Shaping the Platinum Pilchard
Adding the Eyes and Completing the Fly
Drew Chicone is setting the fly tying world on fire with his original patterns, tying methods, books, videos, and tons more. Check all of it out at his website, www.saltyflytying.com. Drew and his family live in Florida