Swimming Flies




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Beaner's Baitfish

Beaner's Baitfish is one of my favorite streamers. It has taken smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, perch, northern pike, pickerel, and walleyes.


Materials List


Hook Mustad 3366 Size 4
Thread 6/0 Uni-Thread Olive
Eyes Bead-chain Gold
Tail Hen Neck Feathers Olive Grizzly
Shoulders Marabou Yellow or Olive
Belly Marabou Burnt Orange
Head and Face Hen Neck Feathers Olive Grizzly

Tying Notes


An article about Beaner's Baitfish was published in the Autumn 2009 issue of Fly Tyer Magazine. If you don't subscribe to Fly Tyer, you should.

For more information about Fly Tyer Magazine click on the link below.

Although I am providing the step-by-step photo enhanced instructions for tying Beaner's Baitfish on this page I have decided that I wouldn't provide detailed tying notes here. I would rather refer you to the magazine article that gives details on tying Beaner's Baitfish and how to fish it. Click on the link below to read the article. Note: You will have to use Adobe Reader to read the article. If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer you can download it free. Check Warmwaterflytyer home page for downloading instructions.

DocumentBeaner's Baitfish

Angling Tips


You can tie Beaner's Baitfish to represent a variety of minnows. You can also tie it in solid colors. For smallmouth bass I prefer an all white or an all yellow fly. Click on these photos for a larger view.

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Tying Steps


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Step 1

Start the thread two-thirds the way down the hook shank. Wrap neat thread base. Tie on the bead-chain eyes at the front of the thread wraps.


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Step 2

Select six or eight hen neck hackles for the tail. Align the feathers cupping together with an even number on each side. Tie the feathers to the top of the hook from the bead-chain eyes to the end of the shank.


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Step 3

Tie in a bunch of yellow marabou on each side of the tail to form the shoulders. The marabou tips should extend beyond the hook bend.


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Step 4

Tie on a bunch of orange marabou for the belly of the fly. The orange marabou should extend to the center of the tail.


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Step 5

Tie on the first hackle by the tip at the base of the marabou shoulders. The cupped side of the feather should be facing the hook.


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Step 6

Wrap the hackle forward until you run out of usable feather. Tie off and clip the excess.


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Step 7

Wrap the thread back over the base of the hackle to force the fibers to sweep back to the rear of the fly. I call that procedure "hackle packing."


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Step 8

Continue tying on more hackles,wrapping and packing each feather, until you reach the bead-chain eyes.


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Step 9

Tie on a feather directly behind the bead-chain eyes, and then wrap the thread in front of the eyes.


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Step 10

Make one turn of hackle behind the eyes, and then figure-eight-wrap the feather around the eyes. Continue wrapping the feather until you run out of usable feather and remove the excess.

Wrap the thread back over that feather to the base of the eyes.


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Step 11

Tie on one last feather and wrap it to the hook eye. Tie off and clip the excess bit of feather.


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Step 12

Wrap the thread onto the hackle to force the fibers toward the end of the fly. Wrap a neat, pointed nose. Tie and snip the thread. Coat the thread head with cement.


Copyright 2018 Ward Bean, Council Bluffs, IA, All rights reserved.