North Coast Angler
Fly Tying Techniques
"The Toad"
The “Toad” pattern was originally developed by Florida key’s Guide Harry Spears as a bonefish fly. Since then, the pattern has evolved in materials, size and all around species applications. Today’s pattern owes much to Key’s guide Tim Hoover. The “Toad” is an excellent crustacean imitation and can be tied with many color combinations to suit many water conditions, targeted species and for matching local critters. I believe the pattern does a fairly good job of imitating small squid, shrimp and immature lobster found off the Cape Ann coast. The fly is best fished with floating or slow sink intermediate fly lines. The retrieve is slow with short pops and fished just below the surface. I have also found the pattern to work well dead drifted in river current. I like to call the Toad, a “twitch fly”. The fly works wonders when no other fly gets action and especially when stripers are slurping on the surface; it’s a cure for striper “lock-jaw”!
Materials and Recipe
Various color combinations
Step 1
The pattern is tied starting just before the hook bend. Take several wraps of 6/0 monofilament and fix to the hook shank with crazy glue. This is an important step to insure that the thick marabou quills do not twist or turn on the hook shank. Start the fly by tying in a single blood quill at the top of the hook above the bend. Take several wraps of mono with slight tightening on each turn. Tie in two quills, one on each side of the hook similarly as the first quill. Optional: Tie in two or three strands of pearl flashabou or crystal flash on each side of the tail. Finish with a few wraps and add a small drop of glue. The quill lengths should be about 3 inches in length (shorter lengths if you desire a smaller overall fly).
Step 2
Next, Palmer a rabbit zonker strip (1-1/2” in length) of contrasting color two or three times just in front of the tail marabou. Finish with several wraps of mono and a small drop of glue.
Step 3
Starting in front of the collar, tie 5 or 6 segments of floating poly yarn, each about an inch long, using a “bow tie” wrapping technique to form a crustacean like body. Work forward to about 3/16 of an inch behind the hook eye. Trim the yarn to shape with a pair of scissors. The shape should be tapered slightly at the front and to back end near the collar. Using a small fine toothed comb, splay out the fibers until a full body shape results.
Step 4
Finally, tie in the small lead eyes just behind the hook eye, taking several ever tightening wraps around each side of the eyes and secure with a drop of glue. Substitute large, black plastic nymph eyes for a non-sinking version. Whip finish or knot and add a final drop of glue. That’s It!

Various color combinations
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Questions or Comments, email:
Captain Skip Montello


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