Dan will be a Special Guest for the Tying Chat Sunday Oct. 3, 1999!
I originated the Sar-Mul-Mac (sardine-mullet-mackerel) in 1971,
and, frankly, it was a decade ahead of its time. To my knowledge
the only other flies that came close to it were Bill Catherwood's
patterns, which were an inspiration to me. My first patterns
incorporated glass optics. Today I glue on solid, plastic eyes.
And, of course, I now have taken advantage of new materials like
flashabou and crystal flash - all of which have improved the fly's
The Sar-Mul-Mac in a variety of sizes and colors will
fish as well or better than any other pattern existing today, anywhere,
anytime, both in fresh and salt water, for a huge variety of
species. You can count on them to produce anywhere on the globe - I'd
put money on it!
Following are the tying instructions for one of my favorite
versions - the sardine pattern of the Sar-Mul-Mac, which does an
outstanding job of simulating sardines, cavallito, herring, a
variety of shad, and other similar baitfishes. In addition to those species
already mentioned, this is one of my favorites for both freshwater
and saltwater striped bass, particularly where the larger shad
species are the principal forage fish. Delta black bass love it, too...
Hook: Tiemco 611- S size 3/0 to 5/0 - can be tied
in tandem, rear hook up for billfish and
Thread: White, Danville Fly Master Plus or
Underbody: Three amp lead wire or non-lead
Tail: White bucktail.
Tail Topping: Fifteen to 20 strands each of both silver
and pearl Flashabou.
Wing: Six, long, white saddle hackles.
Throat: Medium bunch of white bucktail, half as
long as the tail.
Wing Topping: Pearl gray bucktail.
Shoulder: Fifteen to 20 strands of mauve or rose
bucktail, topped with six to eight strands of
wine Crystal flash length of gray bucktail.
That is topped with one long grizzly saddle
hackle on each side 3/4 the length of the
Side Flash: Fifteen to 20 strands each of both silver
Flashabou and multi-colored Crystal flash.
Head Topping: A loop of medium gray chenille.
Gills: Small, red chenille.
Head: Small, white chenille.
Optics: Yellow and black, solid plastic eyes, post
removed, 9 mm.
1. The entire fly is tied using the forward half of the
hook shank only. Wrap thread to mid-way point
and center 10 wraps of lead wire on top of the
thread. wrap over the wire and cement.
2. Tie in a medium bunch of white bucktail 3-1/2 to 4-
inches long at mid-point of the hook shank. Trim
stubs to form a neat, tapered foundation. All of the
material tied on from this point on will help to build
the foundation over which the head of the fly will
be formed later. Now tie directly on top of tail, 15 -
to 20- strands each of both silver and pearl
Flashabou - leave it long, it will later be cut about
1/2-inch longer than the wing to form a flash tail.
3. Tie on three, long, white saddle hackles, curved
sides inward, slightly tented over the tail, along
each side, forming the wing which simulates the
body of a baitfish. Now tie on the underside of the
hook (throat), a medium bunch of white bucktail,
half the length of the tail, which forms the belly of
the fly, giving it some girth.
4. Tie in a medium bunch of pearl gray bucktail for
topping, producing back color. You now tie in along
both sides where the gray bucktail meets the white
saddles, a shoulder of mauve or hot pink (cerise)
bucktail, as long as the gray bucktail. Over that,
add six to eight strands of wine Crystal flash. Add
side flash, a combination of 15 to 20 strands each
of both silver Flashabou and multi-colored Crystal
flash. It is preferred to layer the silver flash, about
half-to-half. The Crystal flash needn't be as long as
5. Tie in along each side as an over-shoulder, one
long grizzly saddle hackle just short of tail-length.
Now tie in a loop of medium gray chenille which
will later be brought forward, nymph-case style, to
form the head topping. Next, take two to three
turns of small, red chenille at the same point the
loop is tied in and tie off. This will simulate gills.
6. Starting just back of the hook eye, tie in a length of
small, white chenille and wrap to the red chenille
and back (two layers) and tie off. Bring gray
chenille loop over the top and tie it off, forming a
small, neat tie-off point. Cement.
7. Glue on 9mm, black and yellow, solid plastic eyes
using automotive Goop (any Goop product will
work). Make sure eyes are properly aligned for
good balance and proper swimming action. You'll
be amazed at how strong the Goop bond will be -
nothing works better!
Here are some of my variations of the same tying technique.
Check out my website
for more saltwater patterns. ~ Dan Blanton
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