Fly Tying – Articulated Complex Twist Streamer

This is a streamer pattern I’ve been tying and fishing a lot lately, mostly for Spotted Bass in the sandy Florida Parish creeks. It is basically a double Complex Twist Bugger, with dumbell eyes and an Laser Dub head. It’s relatively easy to tie, and has a ton of movement in the water. I’ve caught a good number of Spotted Bass on it in my last few trips, but some days they will hit anything, so take that for what it’s worth.

It is a rather large fly for these creeks, and it is rather heavy, especially when wet. Due to the weight I’d recommend throwing it on a 6 or 7 weight fly line. I recently picked up a vintage Phillipson fiberglass fly rod off of eBay, its a Phillipson Master 8-foot 7-weight, and it is great on the creeks because you can load it up with only a little fly line out of the tip due to the greater flex and slower action of fiberglass. Perfect for the short casts that are the norm on a small creek.

The fly should work for any species of bass, especially river bass, because the weight helps it get down quick when fishing bank-side structure, before the current starts pulling the line and then the streamer away from the bank. Below is a video of a recent fishing session with this fly, as you can see it catches bass and even catfish!

Materials List:

  • Hooks: Any 3x or 4x long streamer hook, Size 4 in the front and 6 in the rear
  • Tail and wings: Marabou, White on the bottom, Olive on top
  • Body: White Schlappen and Medium Palmer Chenille in Pearl
  • Intruder Wire and Glass Beads for the Articulation
  • Weight: Medium Dumbell Eyes
  • Head: Laser Dub, darker color on top, white on bottom, red for a gill slash accent
  • Special Tools: A dubbing spinner with an Alligator Clip attachment, and a fine brush
Start with the Size 6 rear hook, and build a tail with White Marabou on the bottom
Add some Olive Marabou for the top half of the tail, this tail should end a little behind the point of the hook
Complex Twist: The body is made up of a strand of Palmer Chenille, and a White Schlappen feather, tied in together and then twisted to both combine the materials and to add strength. First, tie in a strand of Palmer Chenille roughly the same length as a Schlappen Feather
Tie in a White Schlappen feather in the same place as the Palmer Chenille
Align the two materials, then then use the Dubbing Spinner with Alligator Clip attachment to grab the ends of both together
Spin the Dubbing Loop tool to make a brushy rope of the two materials. Hold them out and give them a brush with a fine tooth brush to loosen any trapped fibers. I use a chop-stick with a piece of Velcro attached as a small brush.
Wrap the twisted materials forward in tight wraps to the eye of the hook, tie off, and give another brush to free any trapped material.
Add another piece of Marabou for a wing on the top, whip finish and add a cement of your choice. The back half of the fly is complete.
On the Size 4 front hook, go ahead and attach the dumbell eyes on the bottom side of the hook, this fly is designed to swim hook point down.
Tie in your articulation wire on the top of the front hook, add a couple glass beads
Run the wire through the eye of the back section, back through the glass beads, and tie off on the underside of the front hook
The front part of the fly will be the same as the back, start with some White Marabou on the bottom of the back hook
Add in a piece of Olive Marabou on the top of the hook, this tail/cover for the beads should end a little behind the point of the hook
Repeat the Complex Twist procedure as you did on the back hook, try to get to about a hook-eye length behind the dumbell eyes
Tie in a piece of Olive Marabou as a wing on top of the hook
Now we will build the Laser Dub head. Take a clump of the darker color Laser Dub, making sure to first align or hand-stack them in your fingers to get a small bunch that is aligned lengthwise. Take this bunch and tie it in by laying it long ways with the midpoint right behind the dumbell eyes, and then tie in with a few wraps at the midpoint. Leave the Laser Dub laid out longways for now.
Invert the hook, and repeat the step above with the White Laser Dub.
With the top and bottom Laser Dub tied in at the midpoint, brush the front half of both the top and bottom clumps back, then tie both back by putting some good thread wraps in front of them to make a small thread dam that wild hold the Laser Dub in place.
Repeat this with another set of Laser Dub in front of the dumbell eyes
Repeat again, building the head forward, but this time use a clump of Red Laser Dub on the bottom, to be a gill slash accent. Keep building the head forward until you get close to the eye of the hook and tie off. Brush out the Laser Dub upwards and downwards to free any loose fibers, and to prepare for trimming.
Trim the Laser Dub down a bit, taper it so that the front starts small and gets bigger as it goes back towards the tail. Do this is in a few steps, as you can always cut more off, but you cant add any back once you cut.

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