The Big Eelie featured in On The Water’s “Guide Flies”

This is my third (I think) year participating in On The Water magazine‘s “Guide Flies” column, written by Tony Lolli. You’re familiar with he concept of a guide fly — a pattern that is typically simple to tie and can be relied upon to produce day in and day out. (Or night after night, as it were.) The Big Eelie delivers the goods. Developed by Ken Abrames, this pattern imitates larger sand eels. Part flatwing, part soft hackle, the Big Eelie is understated elegance at its finest. I think what I like most about the Big Eelie is that its template — four pencil-thin saddles and a marabou collar — lends itself to as many color combination as your inner artist can conjure up. My Rat a Tat Big Eelie, based on Ken’s larger flatwing, is just one example. Have at it and hold on tight!

Here’s a link to a PDF of this page:

4 comments on “The Big Eelie featured in On The Water’s “Guide Flies”

  1. Alton Blodgett says:

    Link to article pdf. did not attach.

  2. Roger Mitterling says:

    Hi Steve, You tie in the four saddle hackles flat. Do you use a “pillow” for each one like you would on a flat wing? Thanks

    • Steve Culton says:

      I already answered Roger’s question via email, but this is for everyone’s benefit: You don’t use a separate pillow for each saddle. Sometimes on a large flatwing with 9 or more saddles, I may tie in a second pillow. For the Big Eelie I use a single pillow.

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