Fly designs should duplicate the forage and movement of the quarry. When I do want to produce a fly that bests simulates the motion and hues of naturals; Angel Hair comes to mind. Angel Hair captures the brilliance and iridescence of the underwater world. Mixtures of material and light set off by motion make these flies truly ignite. In the past, most of my work has been done on smaller size profiles. I had on occasion tied larger varieties, but longer than four inches or so and the material lost its profiled shape while sinking.

And I really hated to lose Angel Hair as a primary material on these larger profile flies. Using only for accents just didn’t seem like the right way to go. What I needed to do was sit down and roll up my sleeves and see where I could make some design changes to better suit my needs. That’s the neat thing about designing your own flies to suit your own areas. So I did some tinkering here and there, substituted different materials and modifying my tying techniques and came up with this result. So here is what transpired.

Bucktail as a tail was substituted for the usual Ultra Hair. This is used to separate the top and lower halves of the Angel Hair profile. The now internal bucktail itself, acts like filler to prevent the Angel Hair from minimize its’ size during the retrieve process. Most times the bucktail used will be white, but any color will do if it becomes part of the lateral lines of a baitfish. Mirage Flashabou was added above the bucktail. The Mirage material now becomes a belt of glitter to offset the other wise bright backgrounds. This also added some contrast to the side profiles of the fly.

The first bunch of Pearl Angel Hair was placed right above the bucktail tie. Subsequent shades of colors were added all along the shank mostly on top but some bottom. Placement of these ties lay just ahead and in front of previous ties. I found the buildup of materials has to start first at the bend of the hook and using 2X type shanks hooks does not leave much area for buildup. Also, the shorter shank hooks help minimize snagging of the material when fished. Be careful to leave space toward the front to add the bucktail collars to the eye of the fly.

What I came up with is a very large profile glitter fly with some material stability. The bucktail skirt acts like a restrictive cage to prevent the Angel Hair from extending past the desired profile. The fly itself is basically a sparse tied, larger profile fly that accents the dominant markings of any baitfish. All missing materials of the fly that would add bulk are naturally absorbed and camouflaged into the ambient environment. For that reason, these flies are easy to cast.

Angel Hair is a marvelous material that fly tyers have had for a number of years now. This synthetic material has both the seductive motion and color-changing properties needed in fly designs. Over the years, the material has proven itself as a fish catching magnet. Patterns with Angle Hair have become mainstays in the arsenal of many a fly tyer. Now it’s time to cage the material with bucktail hair. Big fish eat big tantalizing bait. Now it’s time to go fish’in. - Unleash the beast.


The Angel Deer’est Series - Green with Envy (Pictured in sequence)


Hook: Varivas 990S, 3/0 – 4/0 or 2X equiv.

Thread: Uni-Thread 6/0 white

Tail: White bucktail, Blue Opal Mirage Flashabou

Upper Wing: Angel Hair: (Pearl Green, Silver, Pink, Chartreuse, Turquoise, Baitfish), chartreuse, and olive bucktails

Lower Wing: Angel Hair: (Pearl Green, Red), yellow bucktail

Eyes: Chartreuse or silver 3-D, 3/16 dia.



The Angel Deer’est Series - Atlantic Herring


Hook: Varivas 990S, 3/0 – 4/0 or 2X equiv.

Thread: Uni-Thread 6/0 white

Tail: White bucktail, Blue Opal Mirage Flashabou

Upper Wing: Angel Hair: (Pearl Blue, Silver, Blue Ice, Turquoise, Dark Blue), purple, and silver doctor blue bucktails

Lower Wing: Angel Hair: (Pearl Blue, Red), white bucktail

Eyes: Gold or silver 3-D, 3/16 dia.


Tying Instructions

Step #1

Spiral the thread around the hook shank starting at the eye and finishing near the bend. I use the word spiral because I never completely cover the shank with thread as you would a rod wrap. Leaving open spaces between thread winds creates crevices for laying slippery materials along the shank after you fasten it down.

Tie in a small amount of white bucktail over the bend. Contact with the bucktail along the shank should be about 3/8 inch. First take a series of loose wraps to capsulate the bucktail and than take a series of hard winds to secure in place. Tie in four long strands of blue opal Mirage to extend past the shank about 5 inches. Fold over the left-hand ends and tie in place.


Step #2

Bring back the tying thread to the bend of the hook.

Tying Note:

The following procedure will be used for all Angel Hair ties across the top shank of the hook. When placing the Angel Hair on the hook, make sure the cut ends face toward the tail of the fly first. This should be about 3/8 left of the tie in point. Take about four turns of thread and fasten in place. Fold over the longer side and extend it over the bucktail. Pull it all back before tying in place. Take about four turns of thread and fasten.

You must start at the furthest straight point of shank as possible to get in all the layers in. Take a small amount of Pearl Green Angel Hair and tie directly over the bucktail. See Note above.


Step #3

Advance the thread directly in front of the previous tie, but not any further. Repeat Step #2 using the same method and same Pearl Green Angel Hair. Now you should have a double section of the same color.


Step #4

Tie in a small amount of Silver, Pink, Chartreuse, Turquoise Angel Hair in sequence using the same method described above. Please take note in advancing the thread at the beginning of the last tie. Otherwise you will run out of room for the final bucktail.


Step #5

Invert the hook. Tie in a small amount of Red Angel Hair to extent past the hook bend about ¼ inch. Tie in with four wraps. Fold over the other end of equal lengths and secure.


Step #6

Tie in a small amount of Pearl Green Angel Hair. Place the cut ends up to the very bend of the hook. Tie in with four wraps. Fold over the entire other half and use the hook point to divide the material equally. You might have to temporarily remove the hook from the vise for this step. The long ends should now be blending in to form the lower profile.


Step #7

Invert the hook again (regular position) and tie in the Dark Blue or Baitfish Angel Hair. Follow the Tying note, but this time when you fold over the material, make sure the dark blue hair extents the complete length of the fly. Tie off with a series of four turns. Make two half hitches at this point and secure the thread. You may at this time have to trim and form the profile of the fly to suit your purpose and needs.


Step #8

Take a small amount of chartreuse bucktail and tie in with four loose wraps of thread. Spiral the bucktail around the top half of the hook. This is going to form the cage to help restrict the Angel Hair.


Step #9

Invert hook. Take a small about of yellow bucktail and spiral the hair around the lower half. This will form the bottom cage. Fasten in place.


Step #10

Flip hook to the regular position. With a small amount of Olive bucktail tie in over the top, but this time do not spread it out. Finish head and cement.


Step #11

Glue eyes in place using Goop adhesive. Press firmly in place. A larger profile can be enhanced by spreading out the material before the addition of eyes. Bigger eyes will give you more of a spread.


Step #12

Finished Fly: 

Green with Envy


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