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Sand-Lance
Tied By Steffie Taylor, Bremerton, WA

We first saw this fly tied by Bob Serle who was a partner in a local fly shop some years ago. He tied it as an immitation of a local saltwater baitfish, a Sand Lance, locally called a 'Candlefish.' (Candlefish are found north of Washington in British Columbia.) It is tied to match whatever size the Sand Lance are at any particular time in the season. Full adults in the fall can be as long as six inches. This is a locally popular fly for silver salmon, (Coho) and King Salmon. Tie it to match whatever salt or freshwater bait are in your region.

Sand-Lance Materials

    Hook: Size to match your local baitfish, shown is Mustad Saltwater size 4.

    Thread: Danville flat waxed.

    Body: Hedron Flashabou Minnow Body (1/8 diameter), silver.

    Bloodline: Amensia line.

    Tail: Neck hackle.

    Wing: Bucktail, dark blue and olive.

    Overwing: Peacock herl.

    Eyes: Stick on.

Preparation of materials: Remove core from Minnow Body, cut into pieces twice the length of the hook shank, and press flat. Remove fluff from hackle and cut a "V" as shown below. Debarb the hook - the barb will snag the Minnow Body, you want to fish barbless anyway.

Instructions for the Sand-Lance:

    1. Insert your hook in vise and lay down a base layer of thread, this helps to keep the body in place.

    2. Glue the tail in the stripped Minnow Body, and thread the body onto the hook. Place back in vise. (You can also strip both sides of the feather and run the entire stem through the body for more durability.)

    3. Attach thread, insert red amnesia through the center of the body.

    4. Tie down body and amnesia with a couple of loose wraps then tighten down.

    5. Select a small bunch of blue calf tail, twice the length of the hook shank and tie in on top.

    6. Select another bunch of olive this time and tie in as before.

    7. Tie in 3 strips of peacock herl on top of both blue and olive calftail, trim or break off to match length.

    8. Build large head, whip finish.

    9. Use press on eyes, but with mono thread, apply a criss-cross of thread OVER the eyes. Then coat eyes with soft-body. You can also dip the head in epoxy and put on a fly wheel to dry.

    10. Finished fly. ~ JC

How to Fish the Sand-Lance

As this fly is not weighted the action in the water can be manipulated easily. It can be fished on a floating, sinking-tip or a full sinking line depending on the habits of the target fish. The Mylar tubing will often impart a slight action but not enough to depend upon. When I fish this for Coho and King Salmon I try to make it act somewhat injured, but not dead. That is to strip it and let it flutter just a bit then strip it again. A fairly fast retrieve seems to be better for coho and a somewhat slower one for the kings. ~ JC

About Steffie:

Steffie is professional/commercial fly tier, specializing in saltwater flies - but she can custom tie any fly. She is an avid fly fisher and some of you met her at the Central Washington Fish-In '03, and she will also be at the CWFI '04. You can reach her by phone at: (360) 373-9637


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


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