The original pattern this is based on is form the vice of my late, old friend Jack Gartside. This is not only an extremely effective pattern but also requires the minimum materials and once you have mastered the technique is very quick to tie.
Like the most effective coast wobblers that represent Tobis this pattern is a darter, and has next to no movement in the materials, but like a fleeing sand eel it “darts” in a short fast “zig zag” movement. Another “problem” for many fly fishermen is that the hook on this pattern is mounted at the head of the fly, leaving a good length of body for the sea trout, sea bass to bite at without being hooked. This can be the case with smaller fish but larger fish tend to take this pattern contant. Also a interesting little experiment that I have undertaken a few times is, if you are cleaning a fish that you see has been feeding on sand eels just have a look at which way the head of the sand eel is facing in the stomach of the fish, nearly always, has the sand eel been swallowed head first! The attach point for pradatory fish is the eyes and these new Fleye foils from Bob Popovics make very realistic sand eel and bait fish patterns.
Sand eels shoal in very large numbers, but are seldom seen during the day in the shallows as they lie buried in the sand, away from predators. They first appear during the evening, when they come out to feed through the night. But despite there nocturnal habits sand eel patterns can be fished around the clock the whole year.
You can also try other colour combinations, but keep in mind the general rule of the lightest colour on the stomach and the darkest colour on the back.
E-Z Sand Eel pattern recipe
- Hook: Mustad C70SNP-DT Big Game Light # 4-6
- Thread: Dyneema
- Body: E-Z body tube
- Tail: 15 strands of Flashabou
- Eyes: Fleye Foils
- Head: Bug Bond
How to tie E-Z Sand Eel streamer
Tie in the end of the tube and make a neat tight head.