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New England has some of the finest striped bass fishing along the entire Eastern seaboard. Pods of striped bass leave wintering grounds in the Chesapeake Bay and Hudson River, head north for cooler summer waters. The migration starts in early May, with juvenile fish arriving daily. Most of these smaller fish are following schools of silverside and sand eels.

Fishing for bigger striped bass improves during mid-May. Most of the large cow bass that have been spawning seem to make up the second wave that hits our shoreline. Like their younger siblings’ journey, the migration of large bass is triggered by a food source too: millions of squid appear and attract the feeding game fish.

Squid are like candy to stripers: they have no bones and are easily digested. The large, slow-moving schools of squid are easy prey for opportunistic bass. If you happen to see a surface feeding frenzy of stripers on squid, you’re in for a real treat: squid will leap out of the water as they are pushed up into the shallow reefs. Squid du jour, for sure, and a squid imitation will catch fish all season long.

What Makes This Pattern Different?

The Ultra-Bright Rattle Squid emphasized most of the dominant characteristics of a real squid to create the illusion of movement. The materials used are designed to gather light in low ambient light conditions and in stained water. Most of the fly materials comprises the use of Angel Hair and Poly Bear, two highly reflective materials. These sparse materials do not absorb water, so the pattern is easy to cast.

There is a conceal rattle inside a piece of E-Z Body tubing. A weighted cone head is used to offset the buoyancy of the air trapped inside the E-Z Body. Most squid patterns have their eyes glued to the sides of the feathers that make up the tentacle assembly. Unfortunately the eyes often fall off the moving and fragile feathers. On the Ultra-Bright Rattle Squid, the eyes are epoxy onto a doubled piece of heavy monofilament. The doubled loop of monofilament helps prevent the materials from fouling around the hook. The Ultra-Bright Rattle Squid has a three-dimensional look when viewed from any angle.

The Ultra-Bright Rattle Squid is the perfect fly for catching striped bass in the spring and early summer, and wil1 help you connect with a trophy bass this autumn. This durable pattern is an excellent swimming imitation of a real squid in the water.

 

Ultra-Bright Rattle Squid Material List

Hook: Partridge Saltwater Aberdeen Perfect size 6/0 or any size 4/0, 4X long
Thread: Danville’s Fine Monofilament or similar mono
Weight: 1/4 inch silver cone, hole diameter to suit hook.
Tail:

White bucktail and yellow Mirage Flashabou

Eyes:

Large 1/2 inch chartreuse eyes, 40 pound test monofilament

Tentacles: White saddle hackles
Mantle:

Pink and light brown Angel Hair, 3/8 inch diameter E-Z Body tubing; rabbit hackle, and ivory and tan Poly Bear.

Rattle: Large glass rattle

 

 
Eye Assembly Procedure
 

Eye Assembly Step (1)

 

 
 

On a “Posted It” pad duplicate the layout as shown in photo to create a working template.

 

 
       
 

Eye Assembly Step (2)

   
 

Cut two lengths of 40-50lb. monofilament eight inches long. Leader material or hard Mason is recommended. Align the two pieces of monofilament with your fingers so that the line sets are parallel as shown. Separate the mono lines in your fingers about 1/8 inches. Leave about two inches of space between fingers in both hands. Drop the two lines making sure the mono projects thru the center of each eye. Press firmly in place. Adjust mono if necessary to recapture the line set.

 
       
 

Eye Assembly Step (3)

   
 

Layout eye assembly on “Post It” pad and use several elastic bands as a holding devise.  
Caution: Only Use five minute epoxy. Mix a batch of epoxy and let stand for two minutes before applying. Epoxy if left longer on the eyes will dissolve the glue. This will cause problems aligning the mono and keeping them in the proper place.
Cover both eyes completely leaving a small mound over the mono. Using a pier of hackle pliers, clamp between the middle of the eyes and hang near edge of table. Apply no weight on the lanyards till hardened or the line set will be disturbed.   

 
 

Epoxy Eyes Complete

   
 

Epoxy Eyes Complete 

 
     
 

Tying Procedure

 
 

Step 1

   
 

Step 1

Slip a 1/4 inch silver cone onto the hook. Place the hook in the vise. Start the mono thread near the end of the hook shank. Tie on a small bunch of bucktail and several strands of Mirage Flashabou about 5 inches long.

 
 

Step 2

   
 

Step 2

Tie in the eye assembly. The center of each eye should be about ¾ inches past the bend of the hook. Lay lanyards alone the hook shank and tie in place. Trim excess lengths and stager the cuts to form a more tapered look. See photo.

 
 

Step 3

   
 

Step 3

Tie six white hackles to the top of the fly. Tying tip: If you use 8 inch long saddle hackles, the completed fly will be about 10 inches long.

 
 

Step 4

   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4

Tie six white saddle hackles on the bottom of the fly, three on each side of the hook.

 

 
 

 
 

Step 5

   
 

Step 5

Tie sparse amounts of pink Angel Hair around the upper and lower tentacles. The longer ends of the material should be approximately 5 inches long. Tie small amounts of light brown Angel Hair to add contrast and created a mottled appearance.

 
 

Step 6

   
 

Step 6

Tie a medium to large rattle to the top of hook. Tie off and cut the thread. Coat the rattle and thread wraps with five minute epoxy. Let dry completed before next step.

 
 

Step 7

   
 

Step 7

Cut a 2 inch long piece of 3/8 inch diameter E-Z Body tubing. Press you thumb into one end of tubing to spread the fibers. Slide the frayed end of tubing onto the hook and over the rattle. The frayed end should extend over the hackles to help the tentacles retain their shape in the water. Start the monofilament thread on the hook again and tie off the front end of tube. Coat the thread wraps with cement.

 
 

Step 8

   
 

Step 8

Tie on a crosscut bunny strip. Wrap the strip around the hook like a hackle. Tie off and clip the thread. Cement area around threads. Slide the cone head back against the fur. There should be about ¼ inch space between the front of the cone and hook eye.

 
 

Step 9

   
 

Step 9

Start the monofilament thread in front of the cone. Tie small amounts of ivory Poly

Bear completely around the cone. Tie on the material butt facing cone, long end forward of hook eye and fold it back. Secure the hair with two or three wraps of thread. The Poly Bear should extend about one inch past the eyes.

 
 

Step 10

   
 

Step 10

Tie sparse amounts of tan Poly Bear around the fly to add mottling. Add some pink Poly Bear in the same fashion. Whip finish the thread and clip. Coat the thread with five minute epoxy. You may now trim any excess materials to suit your taste. 

 
       
 

 

The Rattle Squid is a terrific pattern for catching striped bass in the spring and early summer, and it continues to attract fish throughout the season. The noisy rattle and the full profile make this pattern realistic to look at from any angle.  

 

 

 
       

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Saltwater Fishing, Saltwater Flyfishing, Saltwater Sportfishing, New England, Cape Cod, Striped bass, Experience the thrill of saltwater fly fishing and light tackle angling on the fertile waters of Narragansett Bay, Block Island Sound, and the pristine waters of Cape Cod with your host and guide, Captain Ray Stachelek.  Visit him online at Cast-a-fly charters.com


Permission is granted by Fly Tier Magazine to use both text and photos.

This article was published in the Fall ’06 issue 


Copyright ©2000 - 2007 Flyfishsaltwaters.com
All Rights Reserved

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Experience the thrill of saltwater fly fishing and light tackle angling on the fertile waters of Narragansett Bay, Block Island Sound, and the pristine waters of Cape Cod with your host and guide, Captain Ray Stachelek.  Visit him online at Cast-a-fly charters.com

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