SBS – How to tie a tigerfish brush fly
This a quick and simple pattern to tie and one of my favourite patterns for Tigers, especially at Pongola where there is a large population of Tilapia.
Hook: Gama B10s #2-1/0 or Gama SL12S short #2/0-4/0
Thread: Red or orange 140D Danville’s
Weight: Lead wire 0.02
Tail: Fishient SF fibre, bucktail to prevent wrapping and act as a hot spot
Body: Fishient Baitfish brush
Eyes: 7mm stick-on eyes
I tie in a size 1 or 2 on the B10s or a 2/0 SL12s Short shank for Pongola and Size 1/0 B10s or size 3/0 or 4/0 Sl12s short shank for the Zambezi River.
The variety of colour combinations are endless, here are some of my favourites:
- Black and purple tail with a black brush
- Black and sunset frenzy tail with a black brush
- Black and red tail with a black brush
- Olive and grey tail with an olive brush
- Tan and white tail with a tan brush
At Pongola I will fish them on sink tip lines in the shallows and next to weed beds and in-between exposed trees. On the Zambezi I like to fish them an intermediate or 300g shooting head in slower moving water and back eddies near drop off and structure. My general rule of thumb, darker patterns in low light and natural lighter coloured patterns when the sun is out.
6-8 wraps of 0.02 lead wire near the front of the hook shank and secure with superglue.
Cover the shank with a layer of thread.
Tie in a small amount of buck tail, I like to put it in the deer hair stacker just to even it out the cut it the stems off, so I have about an inch of material. Alternatively, you can use a mono loop with 20lb mono if you don’t want a hotspot.
Take a small amount of SF material that you will want for bottom colour (the lighter one).
The first section of the tail will be shorter about 1 inch out the back, once you happy with the length, secure with a few tight wraps.
Fold the balance of the SF back over the tail and ensure the SF section is a little longer than the first section when you happy with the length, tie in.
Cut off excess SF and secure the wraps with touch of superglue.
Tie in some flash to form a lateral line, I like to go with a saltwater lateral scale Flashabou but standard pearl Flashabou will work just perfectly.
Take the second colour of SF, slightly more than the bottom of the tail.
The first section of this must be slightly longer than the bottom lighter tail. Once you happy secure with your thread, take the remainder of the SF and fold it on top of the tail section, this time shorter than the previous tie.
Tie in a small section of SF over the top about an inch long, this will help create smooth transition from the tail to the brush.
Trim of excess SF from the shank and secure with a few tight wraps and some superglue.
Take a marker and do some barring on the tail, keeping it to the top section of the tail. Now it is time for the brush. I like to use the 2’’ Streamer brushes from Fishient, tie it in with the wire. Move the thread up to just behind the eye of the hook.
Coat the wraps with Sally Hansen’s, I prefer this over super glue as it gets tacky and allows for correction if we want to adjust the brush.
Wrap the brush forward towards the eye pulling back the fibres after each wrap, I like a sparse fly, so it’s normally 4-6 wraps of the brush.
Secure the brush with a few tight wraps and whip finish.
Brush the fibres out, you can split the brush into a top and bottom section here them brush that backwards.
I like marking the top of the brush with a permanent marker to make the top section a little darker.
Trim the tail, you want a nice triangular taper and a smooth transition from the tail to the brush.
Use Zap a Gap gel to secure 7mm stick on eyes, then coat the eyes with UV resin and hit with the torch.