North Coast Angler
"Monty's Pretender"
Typical Menhaden, a striper and bluefish favorite
Monty’s “Pretender” fly pattern is designed to imitate a variety of local baitfish including; menhaden, small pollock, and butterfish. The color combinations of bucktail and body shape (more or less material) can be varied to resemble specific species, but generally the pattern described below works quite well for stripers and bluefish. I have used this fly pattern with success on the waters of Cape Ann as well as in the Merrimack River estuary. The important characteristic with this pattern is the tying technique. The large profile and “straight up tracking” performance is what makes this fly a fish attractor. It is a super “change up” choice when fish get finicky. The pattern requires more steps than most other saltwater streamers, but well worth the extra time and effort.
Materials and Recipe
Hook: Mustad Saltwater 34007 SS, 4/0
Thread: 6/0 Gudebrod monofilament
Body: Bucktail; white, yellow and olive
Tail: White Schlappen hackle
Flash: Flashabou, pearl olive
Head/Back: Olive Peacock herl
Throat: Red poly-yarn
Eyes: Painted yellow/black or stick on yellow/black prismatic
Glue: Crazy glue or Zap-a-Gap and Z-poxy
Step 1
The pattern is tied as standard streamer, starting just forward of the hook bend. Take several wraps of 6/0 monofilament and fix to the hook shank with glue. This is an important step to insure that the all materials, when completed, are securely attached to the hook shank (a small amount of glue is added after each material is tied in). Start the fly by tying in 3 hackles on each side of the hook shank mid-line and secure with several wraps of mono, add a small drop of glue.
Step 2
Next, rotate the hook shank slightly upward in the vise and tie in two- 2 ˝” long 1/8” round clumps of yellow bucktail on either side of the hook shank along the mid line. Take several wraps and secure with glue. Next, tie in one- 2 ˝” long 1/8” round clump of white bucktail on the top of the hook shank. Take a few loose wraps and flare out the bucktail a bit by pushing downward with your finger and finish with several more tight wraps. Add a drop of glue.
Step 3
Next, move forward toward the hook eye ~ 3/8” and tie in two- 3 ˝” long 1/8” round clumps of yellow bucktail on either side of the hook shank along the mid line. Take several wraps and secure with glue. Tie in one- 3 ˝” long, 3/16” round clump of white bucktail on top of the hook shank. Take a few loose wraps and flare out the bucktail a bit by pushing downward with your finger and finish with several more tight wraps. Next tie in 10-12 strands of 4-5” long olive pearl Flashabou over the white bucktail, flare it and secure with a drop of glue. Add a drop of glue.
Step 4
Next, tie in one- 4” long, 3/16” round clump of olive bucktail on top of the hook shank, flare it around the hook shank a bit and secure. Complete the body portion by tying in 5-6 strands of olive Peacock herl 5” long, secure with a drop of glue.

Finish the head by tying in a 1/2” long combed red poly-yarn throat underneath the head and secure. Attach prismatic eyes or paint on eyes as you wish, and finish with epoxy. There is no need to add color to the head since the clear monofilament allows the actual material colors to show through. The “Pretender” can be tied to various lengths, as small as 2" (1/0 hook) to as large as 5" (4/0 hook) and with variations in choice of Schlappen and bucktail colors. I always experiment with size and color combinations based on baitfish behavior and water conditions, so give it try!

Questions or Comments, email: skip.northcoastangler@yahoo.com
Captain Skip Montello

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