bend backs for all seasons

bend back flies tied and photographed by Al Q.

one of the most simple, deadly and underrated fly patterns i keep in my arsenal is the bend back fly. this pattern was made popular by my old friend, Chico Fernandez for bonefish, jacks, redfish, baby tarpon  and snook in and near thick dense mangroves. these flies tend not to foul and hang up due to the unique way you bend the hook and tie all the materials on top of the shank. originally these flies were tied with bucktail and feathers which enabled the fly to keel and ride hook up due to the hollow characteristics of these materials. all materials are traditionally tied on top of the shank over the 1/8 to 1/4 inch slight bend. i have been using wig hair lately, which is cheap but isn’t hollow, therefore I like to under weight my bend backs with a little lead weight directly under the shank not around the shank. you can move the weight up and down the shank for desired sink rates and action, but the main purpose for this, is so the fly turns over and rides hook up. these flies can be tied sparse or full, long or short, depending on the baits you like to represent. i always have a few of these where ever I fish, but especially over rocky or weedy bottom. try one the next time you target halibut along a jetty.



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