As we all are being forced to fish and explore our local areas, we have started to experiment with using our Saltwater Guide Flies to target other (mostly warm-water) species. Many patterns fit this "dual-threat" category, and have already produced some great fish for us in neighborhood ponds and warm-water creeks. So we've gathered our favorite flies from the experiments to share with you, so you can fool those tricky fish in your backyard!
Psycho Mantis - Bass, Carp, Trout
It's no secret that, when available, crayfish are a predatory fish's favorite snack. They're easy to find and packed with the protein predatory fish need to grow. Hell, I landed my first Muskie on the fly on a crayfish pattern. Our Psycho Mantis, especially in the Tan and Peacock Green color ways, perfectly mimics a fleeing crayfish ticking along the river bottom. So the next time you are pursuing bass, carp or trout in waters where these micro-lobsters live, try swinging one of these through the water, and be ready to set the hook!
Tim's Bugger Mantis - Bass, Carp, Trout
Honestly, if we had to pick one fly pattern to fish for the rest of our lives, it would probably be the wooly bugger. A tried-and-true classic, buggers are probably what most of us caught our first fish on the fly with. Tim's Bugger Mantis is a play on that age-old pattern, and has brought in countless bonefish and permit, and now, it has evolved into a deadly bass and carp fly for us on our warm-water excursions.
Guide Spawning Shrimp - Carp
An often overlooked food source for freshwater predators are the various species of shrimp that abound in many fresh bodies of water. Carp especially can't seem to keep their sucker mouths off of them. We've taken a decent number of carp casting this fly as if we were bonefish on the flats outside our headquarters on Guanaja in Honduras. They charged the fly just like the bonefish do and it was off to the races. If you haven't tried chasing carp, this new found local downtime is the perfect opportunity to start stalking these "golden bonefish" along the banks of your local pond or river.
Guide's Tequilla Twister - Bass
When Dave first showed me this pattern, my first thought was "This fly will absolutely murder bass!" Hell, the wiggle tail is even a part of many soft plastics I hear people use on spin rods. Dave quickly explained to me that this fly was intended for Permit, but I still see it as a perfect fly for early spring bass. The pattern looks exactly like a big fat tadpole, which I know for a fact, that bass absolutely love to munch on when frogs and toads are spawning. So, next time you're scratching your head next to your bass pond, tie one of these on, and strip it along the bottom, you'll be surprised what takes a bite!
Body Guard Mantis - Bass, Carp
In addition to racking up an insane catch-count of Bonefish and Permit, our Bodyguard Mantis is another deadly crawfish imitation. The stiff chenille claws raise up when the fly rests on the bottom, just like a defense crawfish trying to fend off a predator.
Guide Goby - Bass, Carp, Trout
If you walk any tropical flat, you're likely to see these little goby's darting around the sandy bottom, you'll see similar shaped sculpins darting around when you walk through nearly any river or stream. Sculpins are everywhere, and just about every predatory warm-water fish is liable to eat just about as many as they can scarf down.
Guide Bitters - Carp
Known to imitate just about any tiny shrimp or crab that crawls along saltwater flats, our Guide Bitters are great flies to throw when you're chasing spooky, tailing carp. They land soft, and the weed guard prevents the fly from snagging on any bottom. Just match the color to that of your local underwater creepy crawlies and let the Guide Bitters do the rest!