FOTM
Checkerboard
Lee Baerman
fotm may 2020
Translated by Carl Wuebben

These surf flies, the green tailed, brown tailed, red tailed and orange tailed checkerboards have transformed over the years from a bad copy of a hasting’s surf rat to what you see here. The first day out it landed a very nice corbina and continues to be my go-to-fly. When wet, the orange tailed version looks like a new born perch; the halibut and leopard shark love it. It even landed calico bass. The brown version has since been joined by body colors of burnt orange/yellow, fluorescent red (pink)/black, chartreuse/black, pink/silver to go with the original red/black. All kinds of fish have been caught including surf perch, corbina, halibut, walleye, perch, shovelnose guitarfish and leopard shark.

PATTERN

HOOK – Gamakatsu SS15, size 4
THREAD – Ultra 140 (6/0), in red, orange, chartreuse or pink.
WEIGHT – Black 5/32 barbell eyes
TAIL – Brown, red or orange marabou
FLASH – Accent-grizzly flashabou in red/black, copper/black and pearl green/black
BODY - Red/black, fluorescent red/black, red/orange and chartreuse/black variegated chenille. Or you can make up your own by twisting up the color chenille you want with a black strand of chenille.

HOW TO TIE

  1. Mount hook in the vice. Start your thread in behind the eyelet and wrap back and tie on a black 5/32 barbell eye at about one barbell width behind the hook eye.
  2. Tie in one marabou feather, one and a half times the length of the hook shank, starting behind the weighted eyes.
  3. Tie in two strands of accent-grizzly flashabou to each side of the marabou tail. Trim to length of tail if needed.
  4. Tie the chenille in at the base of the tail, bring your thread forward behind the eye and wrap the chenille forward and wrapping around the eyes and tying off behind the hook eye to help build up the nose then clip off your tag end. Wrap the thread until it forms a cone shape in front of the eyes. Whip finish, clip your thread off and coat with head cement.

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)