It’s Bay Anchovy Time
With September on our doorstep, it’s bay anchovy time here in Southern New England. These tiny critters have been growing up in our backwaters all summer and are getting ready to exit to the coast. And that is going to call every meat eater – albies, bonito, bass, blues, and weakfish. So you better have a handful of bay anchovy flies on hand!
Awhile back I did a post on tying a bay anchovy fly. Since then I made a small change to the pattern. To better tie down the top wing, I’m using a piece of copper wire to assist. It makes a neater looking fly and it is also more durable. The copper wire gets tied in early when the Bill’s Bodi Braid is attached. Once the top wing is secured ahead of the bead chain eye, I pull it down tight over the shank and wrap the wire forward to secure it.
The photo below shows the copper wire tied in along with braid. Both end just before the bead chain eye. And I coated the fly body in clear acrylic. Note I also put a drop of acrylic on the start of the tail to stiffen it up, and prevent fouling. By the way, I feel the black bead chain eye is an important part of this by anchovy pattern. Try to include it.
You might notice that a few flies in the top photo are tied a bit longer than others. Well bay anchovies vary in size from year to year. So having a few bigger ones on hand can be helpful. If I need to trim them in the field, I use a small retractable scissor that Cabela’s sold to fly anglers years back. Snip, snip. I love the thing, but its no longer available. Would like to find another one. It is a very practice device in both fresh and saltwater. Great for cleaning up a fly. Great for trimming mono. Real handy around camp. And it has a small retractable tape measure built-in. (In the photo, neither the scissor or the tape measure are fully extended.)
Over in my magazine articles there is one on bay anchovies I wrote eons ago. Here’s a link to it feature article . It appeared in Saltwater Fly Fishing, in 1996. It may be the only full feature ever done for anglers on this subject. It is in PDF format. So if you want to view it on your cell you’ll need a PDF reader app on your phone. Easy to find and down load. Good luck on the water. It’s bay anchovy time!