Fly Tying Demonstration by: Mike J
Demonstration Date: December 12, 20916
Tonight’s Fly: Crazy Charlie
Come join us!
- Hook: Mustad 3407 or 34007, #6 to #2
- Thread: 6/0 or 3/0, pink or white for tonight
- Body: Pearlescent mylar tinsel with over wrap of clear larva lace body, V-Rib, D-Rib, etc.
- Wing: White calf tail with pearl krystal flash
- Eyes: Silver bead chain, 1/8” diameter
- Head: Thread
About the Fly
There is conflicting information regarding the history of the Crazy Charlie fly, however, here is the best information I could obtain. The Crazy Charlie fly evolved from a fly originally created by Guide Charles (Charlie) Smith from Andros Island, Bahamas called the Nasty Charlie. The Nasty Charlie consisted of a hook, bead chain eyes from military tags, and white chicken feathers. This fly was developed for a fishing trip with Bahamian Prime Minister Lynden Pindling and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. On this trip Pindling caught two bones and Trudeau managed three on this fly. After fishing with Charlie Smith, Bob Nauheim from Fishing International in Redding, California created various derivative patterns. The Nasty Charlie was later dubbed the Crazy Charlie, Charles Smith’s nickname. One derivative pattern similar to the one we are tying tonight was popularized by Orvis’ Leigh Perkins and became one of its most successful saltwater fly patterns.
In particular this fly is used to seduce bonefish and permit into biting. It is typically fished on a weight forward line, with a long leader in shallow water (low incoming tide). The fly is manipulated with two to three short strips and then a pause. This presentation is to mimic fleeing prey.
This fly is an inverse-tie, using bead chain to provide a slight amount of weight and giving the appearance of eyes.
1. Put hook in vise normally. Start thread approximately 3/16” behind eye of hook. Develop bump of thread with a small base rearward.
2. Fasten bead chain on top of hook and up to bump of thread with figure eight wraps. Leave thread behind eyes.
3. Tie in larva lace (or other clear body material) on top of hook behind bead chain eyes. Tie in mylar on top of larva lace also behind bead chain eyes. Tie both down on top of hook to a point in line with the hook barb.
4. Wrap thread closely forward to in front of the bead chain eyes.
5. Wrap mylar in close wraps to in front of eyes and tie off.
6. Wrap larva lace or other body material to eyes, figure eight and tie off in front of eyes.
7. Turn hook over or rotate vise for wing placement on what is normally called the bottom of the hook shank. Cut a bunch of calf tail approximately 1/8” in diameter and long enough to extend beyond the hook bend a ¼” to ½”. Tie in wing in place between eye of hook and bead chain eyes. If necessary take one to two wraps behind wing to cock it up above hook point.
8. Tie two strands of crystal flash on each side of calf tail.
9. Shape head, whip-finish and coat with cement.