No question, the Half & Half is a great fly. Not familiar with the Half & Half? You should be. Its two of the finest flies ever devised melded together. It is half Lefty’s Deceiver and half Clouser Deep Minnow. That’s right an unabashed attempt to get the best of both worlds.
The Half & Half is an easy fly to tie. Basically you have a Deceiver wing in the back and a Clouser wing in the front. Nothing complicated there, right? Its a very effective mix, and can be tied a wide range of sizes and color combinations. I especially like this fly in small sizes for shallow water work. There its has proven successful for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, redfish, snook, and speckled seatrout.
My shallow water version is seen in the photo above. It rides a size 2 hook, carrying a 1/36 ounces lead eye. A good generally purpose size and weight for skinny waters, one that can be cast even on a 6 or 7-weight fly rod. On very thin flats, I may go even smaller. A size 4 or 6 hook and a 1/50 ounces lead eye. The fly in the picture has a rear wing comprised of two “Cree” hackles; I keep this fly sparse so it sinks fast. The front wing is brown bucktail. In an effort to add a little flash, I wrapped the shank with Bill’s Bodi braid. Yes, of course, I just had to tie in rubber legs too. They are killer.
In stained water locations I tie this fly entirely in chartreuse. In clear water, chartreuse can be quite good as well, but typically I rely on subtler colors as you see above. Other proven color schemes I recommend are green over white. This is a good mix especially where you have slim bait fish such as sand eel. (See photo below), or black over white, and all black (night work). That said, I’m sure bright “attracter” colors such as orange over yellow can be useful at times.
Right retrieve you ask? In the shallow stuff, I tend to hop this fly back, with a stop-and-go retrieve. Hey, experiment and see what works for you. Give this fly a try. I know you’ll be glad you did. More on this fly