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Lefty's Deceiver Fly Pattern
by Ed Zaun

This is it... The Granddaddy of saltwater flies. Lefty's Deceiver is probably the most popular fly for saltwater fishing in the world. It has caught just about every type of fish you can catch, because it's design lends it to be adaptable to nearly every type of baitfish out there. It is important to realize that the Deceiver is not just a fly pattern, but a concept of tying. The wing, tied of saddle hackle and anchored to the mid shank of the hook marks this innovation by Lefty Kreh. He wanted a versatile fly to chase the stripers in the Chesapeake Bay and got it with this design. When wet, the wing lays in a very small line along the hook, making the Deceiver much less wind resistant than it's bulky silhouette suggests. It casts like a bullet, but is supple and alive in the water. Any current or twitch of the line makes this fly wriggle and dance like some small baitfish who has just wandered onto the dinner plate. Below is the original pattern, but play with this one. It's like an empty canvas, it begs to be experimented with...

Photo Copyright  1998 E.Zaun and Tom Mann

Stuff you'll need...

  • Hook: Mustad 34007 or equivalent.
  • Tail Guard: 20# or 30# monofilament (optional)
  • Wing: 6 - 10 White Saddle Hackles flanked by 1 Grizzly saddle on each side and mixed with some Pearl Crystal Flash
  • Collar: Two bunches of White Bucktail, one applied to each side, extending about half the total length of the fly.
  • Throat: A small bit of red Crystal Flash.
  • Eyes: 3mm prismatic stick types ( optional )
  • Head: if you use eyes, then epoxy the head to keep them in place.
Tie it up...
  1. Place the hook in the vise and attach the tying thread.
  2. Tie in a tail guard as shown here: Tail Guard Page.
  3. Tie in the whites Saddles, one at a time, alternating sides. Try to keep the hackle from rolling when you pull tension on the thread, and keep the ends together.
  4. Tie in the Pearl Crystal Flash at it's mid point, just forward of the saddles, streaming down one side. Pull the Crystal Flash around to the other side and lash it down. Doing it this way makes it very strong and much less likely to pull out when a fish grabs it but misses the hook.
  5. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  6. Tie in the Grizzly Saddles and extend them to just about the ends of the White Saddles.
  7. Cut a medium clump of unstacked White Bucktail, divide it in half and place one half on each side of the hook, just slightly underneath and on the side to form a long collar about half the length of the total fly.
  8. Tie in the Red Crystal Flash to form the throat.
  9. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  10. Apply a whip finish, and cut the tying thread.
  11. Stick on the eyes, if you're going to use them.
  12. Apply nail polish or your favorite head cement.
Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Ed Zaun, All Rights Reserved
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