Fly Tying: The Flatsbunny

Bill Nosan

A few years back, I walked into the Fly Fisherman in Titusville, Florida and saw Capt. John Kumiski sitting at their shop bench holding a demonstration for a few customers. I ambled over and observed for a while. After a time, someone asked him what his favorite Redfish fly was? He simply tied a rabbit strip to a #2 hook with dumbbell eyes and that was it. I, of course, immediately bought almost every packet of rabbit stips they had and went home to my vise.

Those of you that haven¹t tried tying with it should. It is a wonderful material. It swells, and undulates, with little imparted action, and has an amazing "alive look" to it. Over time, I borrowed some ideas from a tarpon pattern and modified the hooks a little until I ended up with the modern version of what I call the Flatsbunny (it may have another name, I don¹t know). My favorite colors for Mosquito Lagoon are olive, orange, and natural, but you¹re only limited by the colors in your fly shop. It¹s a simple pattern. It¹s easy to tie. And best of all, it catches fish. Good luck.

Step 1: First off, I think most fly-tying hooks have shanks that are too long. A long shank hook takes more material to fill and increases the weight and bulk of the fly, which in turn makes it harder to throw. So, I take a pair of small needle-nose pliers and gently reshape the hook bend to increase the diameter. For the Flatsbunny,, I take a #4 34007 Stainless Mustad hook and bend it into a shorter shank #2.(Fig. 1)

Step 2: Tie in a piece of Rabbit strip, fur-up, approximately twice the length of the hook. I use a # 3 flat-waxed nylon thread, as it doesn¹t break easily. (Fig. 2)

Step 3: Tie in a few strands of a complimentary color Crystal Flash or Flashabou on each side. Then tie in extra small lead dumbbell eyes, leaving enough room for a mono weedguard. (Fig. 3)

Step 4: Tie in a loop of 20lb fluoro. as a weedguard. (Fig. 4) I tie almost all of my flies with weedguards. They can always be snipped off if not needed.

Step 5: Tie in another Rabbit strip at the hook bend and palmer it towards the front of the fly up to the dumbbell eyes. Tie off. Snip the weedguard to the desired length, and apply a 5 minute epoxy to the threads and the weedguard wraps. Viola, Flatsbunny.(fig 5)

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