Wet Flies

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The Marabou Miss

According to Florida angler Tom Lentz the Marabou Miss is a top flight Crappie fly. In "Flies for Bass and Panfish" Tom states that it's also effective on large bluegills and the occasional bass.

Materials List

Hook Mustad 9671 Size 8
Thread Uni-Thread - 6/0 Chartreuse
Tail Marabou Chartreuse
Underbody Lead Wire .015 dia.
Body Chenille - White Small or Medium
Wing Marabou Chartreuse
Wing Highlight Crystal Flash Pearl
Head Uni-Thread - 6/0 Chartreuse

Tying Notes

The Marabou Miss, in a slightly different form, is part of the Gaines Company "Grubby Bug" series that also includes The Grubby Gert, The Nifty Nat, and The HumBug. Gaines has offered those flies for more years than I can remember and they can still be ordered from the company today.

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Florida angler Tom Lentz ties a weighted Marabou Miss in Chartreuse and White, two great warmwater colors, highlighted by a few strands of Crystal Flash. His version of the Marabou Miss is featured in the fly tying tutorial that will follow.

The Gaines Company offers the Marabou Miss in four different color combinations. Those combinations are a white body with a black tail and wing, a green body with a yellow tail and wing, a yellow body with a black tail and wing, and a white body with a red tail and wing.

The flies in the photos are tied in the Tom Lentz style with lead weight and Crystal Flash highlights. The Marabou miss offered by the Gaines Company doesn't contain those two components. And, the wing and tail on the Gaines fly is much shorter.

To purchase flies that are made the Gaines Company way, request their catalog at the following address. The Gaines Company, P.O. Box 35, Gaines, PA 16921

Tying the Marabou Miss is pretty straight forward. However, there are some tips and tricks about working with chenille that will benefit you in tying the fly. Click on "Tying With Chenille" to see for yourself.

Angling Tips

The Marabou Miss is primarily a Crappie fly and in that regard it should by fished in an around cover were Crappie are found especially around tree tops and similar cover.

Crappie prefer water that is five to fifteen feet deep that contains weeds and other forms of structure, such as sunken trees, brush piles, rocks and riprap. At times they can also be found under boat docks, swimming platforms, and bridges.

Remember that Crappie, especially in the spring and the fall, generally can be found in the same place in a pond or a lake year after year. So, if you get into a school of Crappie at a particular location in a pond in the spring, go back to that location the following spring and chances are you will be into fish again.

The Marabou Miss is intended to represent a minnow so fish it like it was one, with a strip-strip-strip retrieve.

If the Crappie are in deeper water use a sink tip line to get the fly down in the water column as quickly as possible. Once you locate a school of fish, you may want to employ the countdown method to place the fly at the school's level with each cast.

Tying Steps

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Step 1

Clamp the hook in the vice, crimp the barb, and lay down a base of thread as shown in the photo.

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Step 2

Prepare a clump of marabou for the tail that is equal in length to the hook's length.

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Step 3

Tie in the marabou tail as shown.

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Step 4

Make 10 or 12 turns of .015 lead wire on the front half of the hook's shank as shown.

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Step 5

Prepare a piece of chenille for the body by exposing a bit of the chenilles core. Then, tie in the chenille directly in front of the tail.

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Step 6

Wrap the chenille forward and tie off as shown and remove any excess. Leave enough room to tie in the wing and to form a neat thread head.

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Step 7

Prepare and measure a clump of marabou for the wing that should be long enough to be even with the tail after the wing's tied in.

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Step 8

Tie in the wing as shown in the photo.

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Step 9

Tie in a few strands of Crystal Flash to provide highlight to the marabou wing. Three or four strands of flash material on each side of the wing will do.

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Step 10

Form a neat thread head and tie off the thread. Coat the head with head cement. I use Sally Hansen's "Hard as Nails" nail polish for head cement.

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Step 11

Your Marabou Miss is finished!

Copyright 2023 Ward Bean, Council Bluffs, IA, All rights reserved.