“Bill Peabody’s Flat-Wing Patterns”

A few years ago, Capt. Ray Stachelek gave me a copy of an article Bill Peabody had written in the May-June 1998 issue of Fly Fishing In Salt Waters. I mentioned it here, then mostly forgot about it. A few weeks ago, one of you asked if I could share the piece. With my Compleat Angler flatwing demo tomorrow, this seemed like a good time to do it.

Below is a pdf of “Bill Peabody’s Flat-Wing Patterns.” The quality is as good as I can make it, this being photos of a photocopy. I want to be clear that I did not write this piece. Bill Peabody did.  Enjoy!

Bill Peabody’s Flat-Wing Patterns

My rendition of Bill Peabody’s Flat-Wing Bay Smelt. The fly has not yet been shaped under water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today’s Blue Plate Special: the Rhody Flatwing

The Rhody Flatwing is an old pattern that was developed by Bill Peabody (of Bill’s Bodi-Braid fame). Being a Rhode Islander, Bill is said to have drawn his inspiration from fellow Ocean Staters Ken Abrames (flatwing design template) and Ray Bondorew (Ray’s Fly colors).

The result is pattern that makes a superb generic baitfish imitation. By altering the size of the fly, the tyer can match all manner of baits. The original pattern calls for a sparse tie. You can see from the picture that what I’ve used is more than enough material. Also note that there are no eyes on this fly – they’re just not necessary. Of course, if you must have eyes, jungle cock would be the appropriate choice.

This dozen was tied for a local fly shop, and the flies are about 5” long. Delicious!

A Dozen Rhody Flatwings

Image

Hook: Eagle Claw 253 1/0-3/0
Thread: White 6/0
Support: 30 hairs white bucktail
Pillow: White
Tail: 2 strands gold Flashabou under yellow or olive saddle hackle
Body: Pearl braid (Bill’s if you’re going for homage and tradition)
Collar: 30 hairs short white bucktail on bottom, 30 hairs long white bucktail on top
Wing: 15 hairs yellow bucktail under 8 hairs light blue bucktail under sparse olive Krystal Flash under 20 hairs olive bucktail
Topping: 5-7 strands peacock herl

Tying notes: The Eagle Claw 253 is a classic hook choice for flatwings. It is light and has a short shank that helps prevent fouling. You can use either an olive or yellow saddle –well, heck, you can use whatever colors you like. Try all black. Try all white with a hint of pink or chartreuse. I like a hollower, springy bucktail fiber for the support on this fly. I made the collars an even length because that’s what looked right to me. Adding flash to a fly is like applying cologne: easy does it. Less is more.