Fly Of The Week
Al's Poly Sucker
Al's Poly Sucker
Al Campbell, Rapid City, SD

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Fly Tying Terms

Al's Poly Sucker

If you've ever examined the stomach contents of a large walleye, bass, lake trout or northern pike, chances are you found a sucker or two. Suckers are a common food for large, predatory fish. And since suckers are common in many waters, they shouldn't be ignored if you want to catch the big ones. ~ Al Campbell


Hook:  Mustad 9672 or equivalent, and Mustad 94840 or equivalent. Size 4-4/0.

Thread:  Tan, 3/0 monocord.

Body:  Polypropylene and/or antron yarn. Color - white, tan and black. (Waterproof pens can be used to add color.)

Bead:  Large brass bead for weight. (Hidden by body material).

Tail:  Poly and/or antron yarn. Crystal FlashTM can be added for flash if desired.

Head:  Shaped poly yarn. Use lots of Flexament TM on body and head to hold shape. Loon (R) Hard Head finish, hot glue or epoxy should be used on the head to cement it firmly in place.

Eyes:  Craft eyes or painted eyes should be added for effect.

Tying Steps:

1. Whip-tie a short piece of stout monofiliment to the short hook. This hook will be the tail.

2. Tie multiple strands of poly to the short hook. Space the colors to look like the natural coloring of a sucker..

3. Comb out the poly and cement, shaping the tail by hand as the cement dries. Trim tail to look natural.


4. Slide bead onto long hook and tie down the loose end of the monofiliment, attaching tail to the large hook.

Bead and Attach Tail

5. Tie in multiple strands of poly yarn in front of bead, near the hook eye, extending over the hook eye. Layer the color to match the natural when they are pulled back to form a head.

in front of Bead

6. Tie poly yarn to the bottom of the hook to form a sucker mouth. The method is the same one used to tie an egg fly. You will trim the mouth later.

7. Tie more poly yarn behind the bead, some extending forward over the bead, some extending back toward the tail. Again, space the colors to match the natural color of a sucker. You can add crystal flash if desired.

8. Whip finish and trim the thread behind the bead.

9. Comb out the yarn behind the bead.

10. Comb out the yarn that extend over the bead. Pulling the yarn back, cement and shape by hand as the glue dries. This will give the fly depth, and the cement will hold the body's shape.

and Glue

11. Comb the poly out near the head and pull back to form head. Make sure the poly covers the bead on both sides of the hook. Again, use lots of cement and shape the head by hand as the cement dries.

12. Clip short the poly that forms the mouth, shaping it to look like the real thing.

13. Paint or glue eyes on. If you wish to add color and markings with a waterproof pen, do so now.

14. Epoxy, hot glue or apply Loon Hard head finish to the head to make it firm enough to last through many toothy fish. Smooth the head out as the glue dried to form a nice looking head. Make sure the glue covers the eyes too, so they won't fall off or get chipped by teeth.

15. Trim, glue and shape any loose strands of body material to form a smooth body. Check that the tail swings freely and isn't bound up by the rest of the body. This is important if you want the fly to swim naturally.

Al's Poly Sucker

Tying Tip:

Use lots of cement to keep the body from relaxing and losing its shape. Remember this is a fly for big, aggressive fish. ~ AC

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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