by Jason Akl
The Bunny Fly is a probably one of the
most versatile and well known fly patterns used in the last two decades by anglers all
over the world. The bunny fly can be fished in almost any environment from the saltwater
coastlines to the tranquil riverbanks of our favorite small streams. The reason for the
great success of these patterns in such varying conditions comes from the use of unique
materials and durable construction.
Due to the fact that bunny flies are well
known for their fish catching ability, the general tying techniques and looks for the
pattern differ from region to region. Although this difference is noticeable, a few key
features can always be found in bunny flies. First, is the use of rabbit strips for the
tail and body of the fly. As you probably already realized this is where the fly gets its
descriptive name from.
Another key characteristic of bunny flies
is the life-like action produced by the rabbit strips in the water. Most first time users
of the fly swear that the fly seems to be swimming all on its own.
The super bunny fly is just my personal
version of this very popular fly pattern. With this particular bunny pattern, a technique
has been incorporated to make the body of the fly denser and thicker, while at the same
time getting rid of the rawhide backing of the zonker strips. This rawhide backing on the
rabbit strips becomes water logged after a few minutes and makes casting these flies a
nightmare due to the extra weight. Also a small 4 mm rattle has been incorporated into
body design to help attract even the most sluggish of predators.
Materials Used In the Super Bunny Fly
Hook: Mustad Salt Size 2
Tail: Zonker Strips (White/ Chartreuse)
Body: Zonker Strip Fur (White/ Chartreuse)
Thread: Uni-Thread Chartreuse 6/0
Rib: Copper Wire
Head: 5 minutes Epoxy
Body support: Needle
Eyes: Chartreuse Stick-on
1. Start this fly by
placing the needle into the vice and securing it tightly. Attach your thread behind the
pin-head and wrap down the pin shank. Make sure to leave about 1/8 of an inch at the rear
of the fly so that it can be tied down on top of the hook shank later.
2. Clip about one inch
section of the chartreuse zonker strip for the tail section of the fly and bind it down
tightly to the pin shank (a drop of head cement is a good idea). In the proceeding steps
you will be placing quite a bit of strain on the pin-shank and if the tail section is not
tied down properly it will spin making things hard to work with.
3. After the tail is in
place on top of the hook shank form a dubbing loop and start spinning the rabbit fur. Wrap
the rabbit loops forward up the pin shank. It might take 4-5 separate rabbit loops to
cover the entire pin shank. Take a quick measure with the rabbit body you just made to
make sure it is approximately the same size as the hook shank you will be tying it down
to. Once you are happy with the length simply whip finish the thread and cement.
4. Take out the upper
half of the fur body you just made from the vice and secure in the hook that you will be
using. Attach your thread once more behind the hook eye and wrap back to the point above
the barb. Select approximately a one inch section of the white zonker strip and this time
slide the tip (rawhide first) over the hook shank. When the tail section is bought to the
top of the hook shank push it forward to the point above the barb and tie it on to the
hook shank securely. Adding a drop or two of head cement is a good idea to hold things in
place securely. Clip a section of fine copper wire and tie it down to the hook shank as
well, extending off the end of the hook.
5. Bring the thread back
to the point above the barb and tie down the chartreuse tail section of the fur upper body
you made earlier. When tying down the fur body; make sure that the ends of the two tails
are the same length, and are sandwiched on top of one another above the barb. Once the
upper body is tied down securely bend back the green fur body off the end of the fly so
that you can work on the underbody. Advance the thread to the ½ mark on the hook shank
and tie in a 4mm glass rattle to add a little flare to this bunny fly. Again once the
rattle is secured down with thread a drop or two of head cement will only strengthen
6. Bring the thread back
to the point above the barb and form a dubbing loop. Spin the white zonker fur this time
creating a nice thick body up the hook shank. Two or three separate loops might be needed
to dub the whole underbody to the front of the hook shank depending on again how much fur
you spin at once.
7. Once you have the
underbody finished just make a quick check to make sure that the green upper body is
approximately the same length as the white lower body. Before tying the upper body down on
top of the lower body, run your finger on top of the hook shank creating a seam in the
dubbed white fur for the upper body to lie in. Pull the upper body down tight to the hook
shank and tie off with you thread (make sure to clip the head of the pin off before tying
it down, or else it will be impossible to do later). Once the upper body is bound down,
wrap the copper wire forwarding in even spaces till you reach the front of the fly. As you
wrap the copper wire forward take care not to wrap down to much of the fur body with each
of the successive wrap up the hook shank. Tie off the copper wire at the front of the fly,
and clip the tag end.
8. Whip finish the head
of the fly and take it to your epoxy station. All that is needed to finish the fly is to
place one or two drops of epoxy on the head. Apply your epoxy and let the fly rotate on
your epoxy drier until the epoxy head has hardened. After the first coat of epoxy has
completely hardened add one stick-on eye to each side of the head. Lastly apply a second
thin epoxy coat to the head to the bind down the eyes and fly finish.
Tight lines and Smooth threads