FTL-Composite Baitfish

Finished fly

Composite loops are just as useful in salt water as they are in fresh. The Composite Bait, in varying sizes, colors and profiles, will catch everything from grayling to to lake trout to lingcod. Where I really like this fly is for salmon in saltwater. With so many great salmon rivers in Alaska, it seems not as many people fly fish for them in the salt, but in many places in Southeast especially, silver fishing in saltwater can be spectacular. Don't forget that kings can be effectively targeted within spitting distance of shore on sinking lines, as well.  A slimmer version works well as a sand lance. Bulk it up a bit and you've got a herring. And if you really want to entice a big ling out of its lair, just add more dubbing and flash and beef it up even more. I also sometimes add a different dorsal color after wrapping the body. This is currently my go-to small to mid-sized baitfish pattern for just about anywhere in the world. It has a seamless effect, a natural action in the water and just the right amount of flash. I hope you enjoy playing around with it.

Composite Bait

  • Hook: OPST Swing Hook, Size 2
  • Thread: 210 Denier, White
  • Tail: Senyo Predator Wrap, Pearl
  • Body: Composite Loop of Silver or Pearl Ice Dub and Pearl Predator Wrap
  • Head/Eyes: Fish Skull Fish-Mask #4
  • Glue: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish, Thick, or UV Knot Sense

Step 1

Step 1. Lay down a thread base and tie in a pinch of Senyo Predator Wrap fibers, about 3 inches long, around the shank.

Step 2

Step 2. Using a piece of paper with a straight line down the middle, lay down a thin, 2 inch long layer of Ice Dub fibers, so that the fiber lengths are 50/50 over the line. The line represents the thread of your dubbing loop in the next step. On top of the dubbing, lay 3 inch long fibers of Predator Wrap 50/50 over the line, thinly and evenly, then make a sandwich of Ice Dub on top of the Predator Wrap.

Step 3

Step 3. Insert the Ice Dub/Predator Wrap assembly into a dubbing loop. Make the loop no more than 2 inches longer than your "sandwich" so that it's easy to wrap.

Step 4

Step 4. Spin the dubbing loop with your OPST Dubbing Spinner and let the spinner keep going. Spin once more for good measure.

Step 5

Step 5. Brush out the spun dubbing assembly, thoroughly up and down.

Step 6

Step 6. Wet your fingers and squeeze the dubbing, parting it so that it's easier to wrap.

Step 7

Step 7. Wrap the loop forward, leaving some space between the wraps so as not to build up too much bulk. There is room for some freestyling here to get the effect you want, but don't make the head too bulky or you won't be able to slip your Fish-Mask over the hook eye in the final step. Cut off the dubbing loop and make several wraps at the head.

Step 8

Step 8. Brush the fly thoroughly. If your fly is bulkier than you want, brushing will help to thin it out.

Step 9

Step 9. Whip finish, and then apply a coat of UV glue to the head. Slip your Fish-Mask over the hook eye, onto the head of the fly. Apply UV with a Loon UV Power Light, or if by chance you're somewhere it's actually sunny sometimes, take the fly outside. Apply small droplets of UV glue in the eye sockets of the fly, apply the eyes, and cure those as well.

Finished fly 2