By Nick Simonson
Sometimes a fly isn’t just about fur and feathers. With all the incredible synthetics and compounds we have available in the modern era of tackle crafting, we’ve been given the amazing ability to create something out of nothing, or to take that something and make it spectacular. The epoxy fry is an example of how a little fast-drying glue under a UV light creates a glassy, just-hatched imitator that no fish that eats fish could ever turn down! Dress it up with permanent marker in colors to match a perch or bluegill hatch, or leave it silver for a perfect minnow mimic and you’ll be putting the hurt on fish all summer long.
Hook: 3XL Streamer, Size 10-6
Thread: White 3/0
Weight: 1 Strand Lead Wire
Tail/Underbody: Antron Yarn
Tail/Overbody: Krystal Flash
Sealant: Thin & Thick UV Cure Epoxy
Star the fly by tying in a single strand of lead wire and secure it to the top of the hookshank (1). This will help widen the fly slightly and provide a little extra weight to help get it down in the column. Next tie in a segment of antron yarn so that the end extends about 3/4 of the hook shank beyond the bend of the hook and advance the thread to just behind the hook eye (2). Wrap the antron yarn forward covering the lead wire and hookshank forming the underbody of the fly, tying off and trimming the excess (3).
Next, tie in a selection of 10 to 15 strands of krystal flash just behind the hook eye so that they extend to the back of the fly about the same length as the antron yarn tail; build a thread head over the tie-in point and whip finish (4). The tying portion of the fly is complete!
Using some thin UV-curing epoxy, secure a set of stick-on eyes and head area of the fly so that the krystal flash strands begin to lay down over the top of the fly, slowly working down the hook shank using thin epoxy, making sure the flash stays on the top portion of the shank (5). Cure with a UV light and at this point add in permanent marker colorations if desired. Let them dry before adding more epoxy. Finally, employing some thick epoxy, build the body up slightly on top and bottom, filling in the gaps or areas where the body appears uneven (6). Give the epoxy a final cure with the UV light and the fly is complete (7).
Fully customizable with different colored flash and an assortment of permanent markers, the epoxy fry is downright deadly on panfish like bluegills, crappies and white bass. The pattern is durable and realistic, making it a must-have for the long rod anytime the opportunity for these species presents itself. Have fun experimenting with epoxy, creating this amazing fly and the wide variety of variants that can be found for it, and in the process have a menagerie of minnows ready to go as soon as openwater arrives!