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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With all the changes, multiple imitations, and evolution of the SF Anchovy, I figured it was time for a better name and a fresh SBS. After printing out and tracing so many baitfish pictures, the name Mugshot Minnow just fits.

While I'm still not 100% happy with this as a proper SBS, I do have a basic process worked out that a very bored, and OCD tier could potentially follow.

Also figured a herring imitation would be more appealing to the Salish Sea tiers here on WFF.

Anyway, here's how to tie the Mugshot Herring 1.0.

Water Fish Fin Liquid Underwater


Materials List
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Fly basics
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▪ Hook: #1 TMC 811S (or Gami SL12, U-401, or hook of choice - can also be tied using a shank... tubes?)
▪ Thread: Gray 210 Ultra Thread
▪ EP Fiber: White (blended with FisHair @ 60/40 mix)
▪ FisHair: White
▪ Angel Hair: Peacock

Note: For all but the largest flies, a full length bundle of standard EP fiber can be folded and cut equal half length pieces before blending with the FisHair. The ratio of FisHair can be increased to maintain the profile on larger flies to compensate for the limpness of the EP Fiber. Likewise a higher ratio of EP can be used on smaller flies without loss of profile.

Gill-plate materials
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Iridescent mylar gift wrap ("Opal" used, but is available in other colors)
▪ Fine nylon mesh (decorative ribbon, or salvaged tea bag material {Kirkland brand green-tea used here})
Devcon 2-Ton Clear Epoxy
Devcon 5 Minute Gel Epoxy
▪ Silver Creek Flex Thin UV resin
▪ Silver Creek Crystal UV resin
▪ Saltwater Flashabou (cut into small snippets)
▪ Sharpie markers - black and light blue fine point
Prismacolor Art Marker - "Dark Green"

Special tools
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▪ Printed image of a Pacific Herring (or baitfish species of choice) sized to desired length.
▪ Transparent template made from packaging plastic with a traced image of above baitfish.
▪ Hemostats
▪ Hackle pliers
Plastic clamps
▪ Bodkin or dental pick (something pointy)
▪ "Lamination tool" made from the same plastic used for the template. Folded to evenly compress materials while epoxy sets.
▪ Sandpaper strips or finger nail sanding board (strips of 320 grit wet/dry used here)
▪ Razor blade or X-acto knife
▪ Disposable nitrile gloves

Part 1: Tying The Fly
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1) Wrap shank from eye to bend. Tie in a small bundle of the EP/FH blend with a hook length tail and the longer section tied forward a short distance (roughly a bundle diameter) as shown.

Note: This long/short ratio can be varied to suite deeper or skinnier profiles. Bundle size and density can be adjusted for thicker/thinner profiles in cross-section.

Fluid Water Bumper Vehicle door Rectangle


2) Fold and tie back the longer section so that it lays gently against the short section but without compressing it.

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Bumper


3) Repeat the above short/long step with another bundle tied slightly forward as shown.

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive mirror Automotive design Bumper


Stroke fibers backward

Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Auto part Composite material


4) Continue tying bundles forward to build profile as show, using the template as a guide.

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive mirror Bumper Rectangle


5) The profile should be filled out to match the template with the EP/Fishair blend just short of the eye. Add a bundle of Angel Hair to top the wing. Tie in with same short/long fold method.

Note: The "missing" head profile will be rounded out when the gill-plates are attached.

Liquid Water Fluid Beach Natural material


6) Mix a small batch of 5 minute gel epoxy and apply to the head portion of the fly (provides a durable base for the gill-plates to adhere to). Pinch the fibers together and pull back as shown. Flex the fibers repeatedly up/down until the wing relaxes into the correct profile when released.

Liquid Eyewear Drink Grass Close-up

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive design


Fly is now ready for gill-plates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Part Deux: Making The Reusable Template
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1) Find or take a representative picture of the baitfish being imitated. Size to desired length and print. Then on the piece of flat plastic, use a fine point black Sharpie to trace the image outline. Include main features such as the gill-plate margins, eyes, lateral line, and any other high contrast details. Some, such as the light/dark transition line along the back, will be useful more for alignment and profile shaping than actual marking of the gill-plates. Once the traced image is complete, cover it with clear tape to protect the ink from the resin.

Note: A simpler option is to size the image and trace directly on your monitor. A larger phone screen will work too but you will need to secure the plastic with tape or means other than your fingers that the touchscreen doesn't respond to. Fortunately a Sharpie pen doesn't activate the touchscreen (yes, I have done this). While this may be quicker, one nice thing about having a printed hard copy, is that it makes a nice reference when tracing, coloring, or adding other details to the gill-plates.

Fin Rectangle Fish Wood Tints and shades


2) Select appropriate sized hook and align on lower jaw to determine trim angle.

Fin Fish Painting Tail Drawing


3) Complete the template by trimming to match the angle of the hook shank under lower jaw, with front cut made at a right angle as shown.

Office ruler Fin Fish Ruler Font


NOTE: I goofed on this one forgetting to cover the drawing with tape before applying resin. That was probably a good thing because I put more detail into the second drawing which can be seen in the Part 3 pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Part 3: Making The Extended Gill-Plates
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1) Wrap nylon mesh (tea bag material in this case) around front of template and secure with a clamp.

Hood Material property Office supplies Bumper Font


2) Wet out image area on both sides with Flex Thin UV resin and cure.

Note: Using the flex UV is quick and provides a stable base to apply the mylar film with epoxy. This step can be skipped, using epoxy to saturate the mesh and apply the mylar once you get a feel for how the materials handle.

Purple Automotive lighting Violet Tints and shades Art


4) Mix a small batch of Devcon 2-ton clear epoxy (24hrs to fully cure, but sets sufficiently to handle within 30 minutes). Lightly coat both sides then apply/align mylar film. Apply the folded plastic lamination tool to sandwich the mylar to the template. Clamp firmly in place to evenly compresses the mylar. Check leftover epoxy in mix tray to verify when ready to peel from template (tacky but not pliable).

Notes:
* Epoxy is needed for better adhesion with the mylar and the longer cure mix is less prone to yellowing.
* Mylar film on body portion was lightly scored to simulate scales. Mylar on the head was randomly crinkled.
* Multiple templates allow making flies in batches

Rectangle Paint Office supplies Art Font


5) Once the epoxy is fully cured, carefully peel off the plastic lamination tool. Then trace the main features of the template showing through the mylar using a fine point black Sharpie. Paying particular attention to the eyes and gill-plate margins. Add color as desired. Prismacolor pen in dark green with light blue Sharpie used here.

Art Creative arts Feather Automotive parking light Magenta


6) Eyes. Commercial 3D eyes can be used but I like to make my own. Using a bodkin (or dental pick) apply a very small droplet of UV resin over the pupil and carefully move to evenly match traced outline. Cure droplet. At this point optional reflective materials can be added to the iris, such as snippets of Lateral Scale, pearlescent ribbon, etc.... Or not, the mylar film makes a decent eye by itself. Complete the eye by applying a larger drop of Crystal UV resin and adjust the drop edges with a bodkin/pick to match the traced outline of the eye. Cure gradually at first to avoid distorting the natural dome shape of the resin drop.

Note: I've been using the "black" UV resin from the Blufixx kit I bought at the hardware store for pupils. Regular resin works fine but may require additional sharpie ink to make a fully black pupil.

Wire Glass Human leg Metal Windshield


7) Final touches. Snippets of other flash materials can be added as accents before sealing the gill-plates with a coat of Flex UV resin.

Hood Asphalt Art Bumper Rectangle


8) Carefully peel off the template by pulling on the nylon mesh. Then trim the gill-plates to desired shape.

Hood Road surface Font Space Electric blue

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Fender Gas

Hand Leg Automotive design Automotive tire Basic pump


9) Test fit gill-plates to the fly.

Artificial fly Bait Fishing bait Fishing lure Surface lure
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Part 4: Applying The Gill-Plates & Finishing The Fly
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1) Mix a small batch of Devcon 5 minute gel epoxy. Apply to head of fly covering both sides and underside of hook shank. Attach gill-plates to head, fitted in same manner as they were on the template. Align and clamp in place with hemostats.

Insect Arthropod Pest Pollinator Moths and butterflies


Add additional clamps as needed such as hackle pliers used here.

Automotive lighting Vision care Bait Eyewear Fishing lure


2) Before the epoxy fully cures, make a final check and adjust alignment using the template. Remove and re-attach clamps if needed (epoxy may be set enough to hold position, but allow minor positioning without clamps).

Fin Fish Paint Art Rectangle

Plate tips for both sides should align with each other.
Hood Liquid Bait Feather Fish

Also pay particular attention to how gill-plates match the natural curve/upper profile of the Angel Hair. Look for a smooth profile transition (dashed red lines).
Fish Marine biology Liquid Fishing bait Hook


3) Once fully cured, use a razor blade or X-acto knife to trim the excess fold material on the underside of the hook. Again using the template to match the profile. Fill in any voids/low spots (see note below). Apply a coat of Crystal UV to the head, and along the top to transition the resin into the Angel Hair as seamlessly as possible. Cure fully, then sand (I used strips of 320 grit wet/dry) to desired shape/smoothness.

Note: The fine point squeeze applicator with the Blufixx UV resin repair kit is useful for filling voids/gaps, adding profile, etc... (not necessary, but I've found to be very handy and time saving.)

Organism Fish Fin Marine biology Electric blue


4) Apply final color details/touch-ups.

Fish hook Fishing bait Fishing lure Bait Automotive tire


5) Insert paper under extended portions of gill-plates to mask the fibers, then apply final coat of Crystal UV resin.

Water Liquid Fin Underwater Fish


6) Finally, use the template as a guide to match the overall profile by trimming the underside of the wing.

Water Fish hook Artificial fly Fishing bait Bait


That's all there is to it! ;)
 

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This is really a hell of a fly! It's a lot of work but it has me thinking about alternative materials that will cut the time and work but you have really landed on something that I can see as a cross-over fly for tuna or salmon or for that matter, any bait fish eating predator. NIce job and thanks for posting your pattern.:):)
 

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With all the changes, multiple imitations, and evolution of the SF Anchovy, I figured it was time for a better name and a fresh SBS. After printing out and tracing so many baitfish pictures, the name Mugshot Minnow just fits.
The "Forger Minnow"...

(not that ya fraudulently copied them) ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
And a most-worthy Labor of Love giving testimony to your innovation and passion for both fly-tying and fly fishing the big water! Impressive indeed! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Jim. That actually means a lot. Having put so much effort into this thing I sometimes question if the results have been worthwhile beyond the enjoyment I get in this kind of creative challenge.

This is really a hell of a fly! It's a lot of work but it has me thinking about alternative materials that will cut the time and work but you have really landed on something that I can see as a cross-over fly for tuna or salmon or for that matter, any bait fish eating predator. NIce job and thanks for posting your pattern.:):)
Thanks Steve, glad you like it.

As for alternate materials, there are a number of options that can speed up the process. For example, using the mylar film by itself, works fine for applications where the film will be securely glued down and encased in resin. Say for flies without "extended" gill-plates (just the head), or that use the free-floating "scale veils" extending back from the rear edge of the gill-plates. This saves a lot of time in the lamination process.

However, for applications where there will be free floating (non-glued down) gill-plate (or "side-panel") extensions, the mylar does not have the strength to support itself, and needs the nylon mesh (or other material) as a backing. Of course, these extensions could be fully secured with resin but that adds weight and I like the idea of the fibers having some movement at least partially underneath the extensions. To my thinking it's a smoother transition from the "engineered" to the "traditional" portion of the fly. Probably more of an aesthetic point than a functional, or fish catching one.

Some of the time involved is also a one-time, up front investment, such as making the templates. The gill-plates actually aren't too bad to make time wise once you're set up and have made a few. The time involved also has a lot to do with how detailed (OCD) one wants to get :rolleyes:.

Obviously on this particular fly I pulled out most (not all) the stops for a presentation level fly. Box fillers for my personal use, would not get nearly this degree of nit-picking. And likely would work just as well. The anchovy versions are definitely a hit with tuna. As for salmon, I've tried a few times with no luck so far. Not that it's an excuse but those were slow days for everyone. The only other species I've caught on these are rockfish. Still I'm pretty confident they will work for a wide range range of species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I got home from Westport tonight and had one of these Mugshot Herring patterns waiting for me. All I can say is wow. This fly is stunning. If it fishes even one tenth as nice as it looks this fly will be a major player
It had better catch fish after that review! Thanks! I'd get it wet myself, but the nearest saltwater for me would be casting it off a jetty. I love catching rockfish, but honestly, they're stupid and not much of a test. I also don't have time to drive up to the Sound and am completely clueless when it comes to the beach fishing game anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
One wonders what would happen if you mixed some fine silver glitter in your epoxy / resin.....
We're on the same page. :)

I spent an uncomfortably long time eyeing the glitter section on my last trip to the craft store. But at least that's not out in the open on a main aisle. Didn't have the stones to check out the cheap feathers, even though they had what looked like bubble gum pink marabou! :rolleyes:

But yeah, I've been experimenting with various flash materials cut into small snippets as accents. The closest thing to glitter I've used was finely "diced" Mirror Flash. That stuff is super reflective. I used some on the rainbow trout gill-plates to simulate scales on the dark green back.

Pink Aqua Feather Fish Magenta
 
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