The BodyGuard Mantis was designed by Dave McKenna to match a common mantis shrimp that we found all over the flats of our Faraway Keys base camp. They were aggressive with long, sharp claws. They were very translucent and matched whatever bottoms we found them on.
We had a few flies in our boxes that came pretty close but it wasn't until I came across a new material from Semper Fli that we really had a revelation in the pattern. "Guard Hair Chenille" was the magic material the BodyGuard Mantis needed to go un-refused on any flat. This new material has small pearl UV micro tinsel built into a very translucent microfiber that pulls light through the body of the fly just like the real thing.
We use contrasting rubber legs to match each color: Hot Orange/Tan rubber legs match our tan Body Guard, Pearl & Hot Orange rubber legs to match our white Body Guard Mantis and Hot OJ/Chartruese rubber legs to contrast the Olive Body Guard Mantis.
We knew we had a winner on our hands when we tested the newly designed Body Guard Mantis. Two casts and two permit later, Rankin was ordering them in every color for his upcoming season at Fly Fish Guanaja!
These are tied on Umpqua XS410 Premium Flats Hook. Now available in #4!
We are custom-dying the Tan Mantis in dark Honduran Coffee for the perfect sandy shade. We tie these in small batches and they sell very quickly.
Meet the Guanaja Fly Tyers Guild. They are the primary supplier and designers for Guide Flies and the inspiration to pass on the art of fly tying to this incredibleisland community.
It started by recognizing the natural fly tying talent that existed in the community of Guanaja. The guides and family members of the Fly Fish Guanaja staff had learned the basics of fly tying and made creative flies for technical permit and bonefish that were not easily fooled.
Over the the last three years they have worked hard to perfect their craft. What began as an experiment in the beach front cabana, has turned into one of the greatest small business opportunities for the Island of Guanaja.
The team of fly tyers that make the Guanaja Fly Tyers Guild is instructed and led by Dave McKenna. They work daily to make the custom tied flies you can purchase through our website. They are self managed and work with an entrepreneurial approach to their business of fly tying.
Through the challenges of passing hurricanes and the Covid-19 pandemic, they have persevered and worked with pride to make the flies we offer here.
We all thank you sincerely for the support and orders that have helped bring the entire team through the hardest parts of the past year. We are very excited to share our newest flies and designs with you!