Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by nicoldrysdale, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. nicoldrysdale

    nicoldrysdale New Member

    ..... anyone out there got a good source for the life cycle of the needlefish?

    .... what's your favourite needlefish pattern.......


  2. Greg

    Greg Member

    Big misnomer, methinks, though I could be wrong. Folks around here seem to call the Bay Pipefish a "needlefish" since they appear very similar in conformation. Needlefish are found in more temperate waters, from the central US coasts south. Bay Pipefish are found in colder climes, including our area. Try this direct link to the Bay Pipefish info at website search page is at

    Best pattern? Don't have one, but Hill's Discount Flies (sponsor of this site)has a good price on a dozen. I suppose you could get away with an elongated snout Clouser in green & white (longer hook shank, move the eyes further back etc.)

    Hope this helps.

  3. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    I tie up a candlefish pattern with a long lots of crystal flash in multicolored bundles. Add bead chain eyes and epoxy/hardhead the head section. I usually tie up with long tail and leave as is or add a trailer hook. They work good for me.

    You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
  4. rockfish

    rockfish Member

    are you talking about candlefish nic?
  5. nicoldrysdale

    nicoldrysdale New Member

    ....yes, Rockfish......... i'm interested in both candlefish ( smelt) and needlefish (sandlance)

    ...... i use primarily clouser imitations but i'm interested in finding new patterns.
    ...... i'm also trying to key into the best sizes for specific months.


  6. nicoldrysdale

    nicoldrysdale New Member


    According to Fisheries here on Vancouver Island there's very high populations of needlefish (sandlance) and they play a big part in a salmon's diet.
    The officer said that pipefish ( i was surprised to find out that pipefish are related to the sea horse) is more rare here and more site specific. (Burrard Inlet); they may be more prevalent in your area but he thought that needlefish would be much more common.


  7. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

    Here's a little smelt/sandlance pattern I like to tie that I call a Yak-Tail candlefish. I like it on the small, sparse side. Another pattern that I've never fished or tied but hear nothing but good things about (and is truly different) is Mike Croft's marabou candlefish. Someone here, particularly you south-Sound guys, may know it.

    Anyway, here's the Yak-Tail Cnadlefish, for what it's worth:

    Hook: Mustad 2307 or similar, size 2-6.
    Thread: # 6 monofilament.
    Under body: Natural white yak tail.
    Mid body 1: Pearl Krystal Flash.
    Mid body 2: Chartreuse yak tail.
    Lateral Lines: Olive Flashabou.
    Gills: Red 8/0 Unithread
    Over body: Olive yak tail.
    Topping: Black Krystal Flash.
    Eyes: Pearl or holographic decals
    Head: Sof-Tex (or epoxy).

    Step 1. Tie in a sparse bunch of natural yak tail for the underbody, through a third of the hook shank. Trim off the butt ends. (To give trimmed ends a natural look, trim them unevenly, then shift them around lengthwise between your thumb and finger, BEFORE you tie them in.)
    Step 2. Tie in 6-10 strands of Krystal Flash, trimmed unevenly about the length of the under body. Trim the butt ends.
    Step 3. Tie in about a dozen chartreuse yak tail fibers, very slightly longer than the underbody. Trim the butt ends.
    Step 4. Tie in one strand of Flashabou along the side of the mid body. Bring the butt-end around and tie in along the far side. Trim the same length as the near side.
    Step 5. Whip finish, cement and trim the mono. Make 10-20 wraps of red tying thread at the back of the head. Whip finish, cement and trim.
    Step 6. Re-secure the mono, then tie in 12-18 olive yak tail fibers, the length of the mid body. Trim the butt ends.
    Step 7: Tie in a half-dozen strands of the black Krystal Flash, trimmed unevenly about the length of the over body. Trim the butt ends.
    Step 8: Apply the eyes on either side of the head. (Make a few wraps of mono around the eyes to secure them; it will disappear when you apply the sof-tex or epoxy.) Whip finish, cement, and trim the mono.
    Step 9: To finish the yak-tail candlefish, remove the fly from the vise and coat the entire head with several applications of sof-tex, continuously turning the fly to keep the head evenly round (2-3 minutes). For a glossier, harder finish, use epoxy.
  8. Greg

    Greg Member


    Sorry 'bout my confusion; didn't realize you were talking about sandlance.


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