Conrad’s “Eat The Baby” Streamer Series

"Eat The Baby" Smallmouth Fly Pattern

The origin of this fly goes back to a particularly rainy Spring when the water stayed high in my home river for the entire pre-spawn season. Due to the high water, I needed a fly with some bulk that had lots of action and sunk easily. The first color scheme was the Baby Smallmouth. The fly worked so well I also designed versions using Brown Trout colors and Rainbow Trout colors. This fly has caught fish in both moving and still water so dirty that the visibility was less than 6 inches, but also works well when the fish can see the fly.

In 2 sizes and in color combinations to emulate:

  • Baby Smallmouth
  • Baby Brown Trout
  • Baby Rainbow Trout (also serves well as a Shad or other “white bait” pattern)

Material List:

  • THREAD: 140 to 210 denier
  • HOOK: Mustad 3366 (size 1 and size 6) or Tiemco 8089 (size 6 and 10)
  • LEAD EYES: Orange or Red with black pupils (medium or large depending on size of fly)
  • BODY: Hareline Holographic Cactus Chenille
  • RIBBING: Medium red copper wire
  • BOTTOM WING: (Zonker strip) Rabbit strip cut .25” wide and twice the length of the total hook
  • TOP WING: 2 or 3 colors of Steve Farrar SF Blend as specified for pattern. SF Blend is an amazing synthetic that holds it's bulk and translucence when wet. It doesn't collapse into a thin "noodle" like other synthetics. It also doesn't tangle too badly.
  • FLASH: Flashabou as specified for pattern

Baby Smallmouth material colors:

  • Olive thread
  • Red or orange lead eyes (med or large depending on fly size)
  • Hareline holographic olive cactus chenille (med or large depending on fly size)
  • Hareline SAND VARIANT rabbit strip or other dirty brown/gray natural strip. Color the rabbit strip underskin with an olive or brown marker
  • Red medium copper wire for the rib
  • Copper holographic Flashabou
  • SF Blend: Bottom = Chartreuse; Top = Bronzeback (double thickness)

Baby Brown Trout material colors:

  • Brown or black thread
  • Red lead eyes
  • Hareline Gold rabbit strip or other gold strip (color the hide brown)
  • Hareline holographic brown cactus chenille
  • Gold copper wire for the rib
  • Gold flash
  • SF Blend: Bottom = Yellow; Middle = Bronzeback; Top = Bleeding Black

Baby Rainbow Trout material colors:

  • White thread
  • Red lead eyes
  • White rabbit strip (leave the hide white/natural)
  • Hareline pearl cactus chenille
  • Red copper wire for the rib
  • Silver flash
  • SF Blend: Bottom = Rainbow (double thickness); Top = Olive

Tying Instructions:

  1. Tie the lead eyes onto the hook shank in normal Clouser style, but leave a little more room behind the hook eye than you normally would for a standard Clouser. At least 1/4 inch.
  2. Tie in 6” of medium copper wire behind the lead eyes and facing back over the hook shank.
  3. Wrap your thread back to the hook bend and secure the copper wire with a few tight turns of thread and a couple of half hitches or whip finish.
  4. Tie in the Hareline Holographic Cactus Chenille in the color specified for the pattern at the hook bend. Advance your thread forward and wrap chenille forward thickly. Tie off behind the lead eyes.
  5. Color the rabbit strip underskin with a marker as per the pattern color instructions below. Then tie the rabbit strip in by the tip on the top of the shank just in front of the lead eyes. Secure with forceful thread wraps and a whip finish.
  6. Extend the rabbit strip back between the lead eyes and stretch it slightly to keep it taut. Weave the copper wire through the rabbit strip 2 or 3 times at the first wrap-in point to keep the rabbit strip from spinning around the hook shank. Begin wrapping the copper wire forward in wide spirals to tie it down. Always weave the wire through the rabbit fur as you advance forward to avoid matting it down. Wrap the wire all the way forward to the head of the fly, trim off excess and tie it down tightly. Half hitch to secure temporarily.
  7. Turn the fly over (hook point up) and tie in the flash just in front of the lead eyes to extend back the length of the rabbit strip.
  8. Tie in a small amount of the first color of SF Blend (about a #2 pencil in thickness) extending back past the hook point. On top of that add in a similar amount of the next 1 or 2 colors of SF Blend.
  9. Whip finish and add head cement or epoxy (recommended).