Vagabond Fly: Drew Chicone challenges the old convention of spinning Deer Hair by replacing it with (almost) ever floating foam strips to create the head on his deliciously deadly Tuscan Bunny. As with the Detonator Crab, what we love about this pattern is that by simply varying its size and colour you are able to chuck it at an array of surface-smashing-rod-benders in your own local waters.
As a frog for gulping Largemouth Bass, solid replacement for the old Muddler style flies, aggravating drop-off lurking Garick (Leervis), showing that Snook a tidy morsel to slam down on, getting a ‘poon to flash you some silver or even as a mouse pattern to those angry ‘Bows and Browns during a mouse year in NZ, the Tuscan Bunny should have a dedicated slot in most fly-boxes. Before Drew Chicone takes us through his Step-by-Step approach to conjuring up this killer pattern, this is what he has to say:
It has been said, “that some flies are tied to catch fish and others to catch the fisherman who buy them.”
The peculiar looking Tuscan Bunny fly is most certainly the prior of the two. Although the jagged and asymmetrical shaped head is not much to look at, it like the rest of the elements that make up the fly are by design. At first glance the fly’s modest list of materials and simple construction may be mistaken for a hastily thrown together mess of fur and foam. However the evolution of the pattern has taken place over the past three years and it is a culmination of purposely-selected materials and techniques for applying them.
Thousands of casts, hundreds of refusals and countless hours of testing and tweaking…that is what it takes to transform a mélange of natural and synthetic materials into a reliably productive fly pattern.
The target species of the Tuscan Bunny are ambush feeders with an upward facing morphology, like Tarpon, and Snook whose eyes are positioned closer to the tops of their heads. The position of their eyes makes it easier for them to see their prey at eye level or overhead in the water column. When looking up for food, darker colours that silhouette against a light sky background are easier to see and therefore increase your chances of a strike.
Wrestling these saltwater bruisers require a stout hook that is not easily straightened, soft yet durable materials that move effortlessly in the water and last but not least, something to keep it all suspended just under the surface. Oh yeah did I mention it needs to push water irregularly to aid the swimming action of the fly, it can’t water log or come down with a heavy “splat” AND it shouldn’t foul either.
Oh yeah did I mention it needs to push water irregularly to aid the swimming action of the fly, it can’t water log or come down with a heavy “splat”
It sounds like a tall order, but it can be accomplished by combining a few familiar materials with some bizarre techniques. Put it all together with a long slow strip and the occasional “tip waggle” and you will find even the most persnickety eaters will find this rabbit recipe irresistible.
Hook: 1/0 -3/0 Owner Fly Liner
Thread: Black 210 Denier Flat waxed nylon
Body: Purple Rabbit Hair Dubbed in a Loop
Tail: Magnum Zonker Strip
20 lb. Mason Hard Nylon
Head: Spun 4mm Foam Strips