Pattern F.T.(floating tube) Sand Lance Pattern

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Roger Stephens, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

    Dec 19, 2003
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    The F.T.(floating tube) Sand Lance pattern has been an extremely effective top water pattern for sea-run cutthroat, resident coho(winter/spring), and adult coho(summer). It has been the most effective from May through early Nov. when sand lance are readily available as a food source for Puget Sound fisheries. During that period the hook-up ratio is usually 30 to 40% or higher. In the winter time the hook-up ratio drops off except when there are aggressive schools of resident coho present.

    Below is the materials list, tying instructions, and how to fish the F.T. Sand Lance pattern:


    Hook: Gamakatsu(saltwater series) #4 SC-15
    Thread: Fine clear monofilament or 2 lb. Ultragreen Maxima leader
    Cement: Sally Hanson Hard as Nails(clear)
    Sequin: 5mm. and 8 mm. pearl(found at most craft stores)
    Tail: Artic fox tail(white), Fire Fly(pearl), Flouro Fibre(olive), artic fox tail(dark olive)
    Body: HMH tube 3/32" O.D.(small) 2 1/2" long, 1/8" or 3/16"(best)T x 1/4"W x1 1/4"L closed
    cell foam(white), Pearl Krystal Flash, junction tubing 1/8" O.D.
    Topping over body: Artic fox tail(dark olive)
    Eyes: Stick-on, black on silver 5/32" flat
    Gills: Red permanent marker pen
    Body finish: Softex


    1. Use a razor blade and metal ruler to cut a 1/4" wide strip from a closed cell foam sheet(white)(3/16"). Cut strip into 1 1/4" lengths. A white 1/16" thick foam sheet(craft store) can be used but needs to be cut into 2 1/2" lengths.

    2. Secure with thread half of junction tubing(5/16" long) at end of 2 1/2" length of HMH tube. Coat thread with Hard as Nails. Will be securing part of tail and foam over secured section of junction tubing so that the junction tubing cannot be pulled off.

    3. Secure clump of white artic fox tail(approx. 2 to 2 1/2" long) for bottom of tail over half of junction tubing which was tied down. Secure approx. 20 strands of pearl Fire Fly over white artic fox.

    4. Rotate tube 180 degrees. Secure clump of olive Flouro Fibre(1 1/2 to 2" long) for top of tail same as above. Tie down clump of dark olive artic fox(2 to 2 1/2" long) over olive Flouro Fibre.

    5. Tie down 1 1/4" long white foam strip(back part only) on top over junction tubing same as above. If a 1/16" thick foam strip is used, it needs to be doubled over and tied down over junction tubing same as above.

    6. Tie down clump of olive artic fox(2 to 2 1/2" long) with the material going towards end of tail on top of junction tubing same as above.

    7. Use one cable tie to secure on end of pearl Krystal Flash material. Cut cable tie which holds material at the center. This process will allow being able to use twice the length of Krystal Flash to wrap over foam body.

    8. Secure clump of pearl Krystal Flash(approx. 9 to 10" long) on top where foam body strip was tied down.

    9. Wrap thread around tube(HMH) foreward to where foam body will be tied down. Tie down front of foam body strip onto tube.

    10. Bring foreward pearl Krystal Flash by wrapping it loosely(just tight enough to hold it in place while minimizing compressing foam) around the foam body. Tie down pearl Krystal Flash at front of foam body.

    11. Pull dark olive fox tail to the front over top of foam body and tie down at front of foam body.

    12. Stick on eyes on each side of foam body.

    13. Mark red gills behind eyes.

    14. Use tooth pick to coat Softex over Krystal Flash foam body. Two coats is best.

    15. Cut excess tubing off of front. Optional: Put 1/4" length of junction tubing cut at a 45 degree angle9(angled up) on front of tube.


    When no sequin is used, the F.T. Sand Lance pattern will skate on the water surface. If 5 mm. sequins(2) are used in front of the fly pattern, the F.T. Sand Lance will have a subtle popper action. When 8 mm. sequins(2) are used, the pattern will have significant popper action.

    The F.T. Sand Lance pattern can be very effective for resident coho in the winter when there are schools of aggressive jumping fish. When adult coho and sea-run cutthroat are chasing sand lance up to the water surface, they will usually strike this fly pattern very aggressively.

    I cast the F.T. Sand Lance pattern at a 45 to 90 degree angle down current and skate/pop it with the current with short pauses as it swings. When the fly pattern is straight down current, the up current retrieve can be skated/popped continuously or with 1 or 2 second pauses between strips. Fish will strike both retrieves.

    P.S. The bottom fly in the photograph has been wetted and gives the slend, tapered profile of a sand lance.


    Attached Files:

  2. speyflyfisher

    speyflyfisher Member

    Feb 26, 2003
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    Thanks for the instructions and picture Roger.

    PS, Love to see photos of the fly in stages your snow bound with boredom.
  3. floatinghat

    floatinghat Member

    Jul 27, 2006
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    near enough to Seattle
    Nice, I will have to wrap a few up.

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