SPANISH-MACKERALFrom Guest Blogger: Paul

Keep It Short (or Small) and Simple – good advice for preachers and for flies, especially for saltwater. I fish a lot for Spanish Mackerel and approach fly design with two priorities – small flies with big eyes. I like flies to be an inch to an inch and a half (much smaller than store bought saltwater flies) but with big eyes. I use either Baitfish Emulator Flash (BEF) or just plain white marabou on short shank hooks.

With the BEF, I can do one tie at the head of the fly. Tie in at the middle of the bunch of fibers (with half of the bunch pointing forward over the eye of the hook). Then fold the forward half over and tie down. That leaves a bump of fibers at the head to use as a base to attach the eyes – I use anywhere from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch molded eyes. They will stick to the BEF long enough to get some Clear Cure Goo (CCG) or other acrylic between the eyes to hold them together. I don’t fuss with fancy head profiles with the CCG because I don’t expect the flies to last long anyway.

With marabou, I tie on right behind the head then make a small head with BEF to attach the eyes. It’s an extra step but it’s still a rather simple fly  and nothing matches the action of the marabou. If you want a long marabou tail for extra action you can tie on a small (!) bunch of BEF (or white bucktail) at the bend of the hook to prevent the marabou from fouling.

So….If it’s flash that you want then one bunch of Baitfish Emulator Flash will do. If it’s action then a marabou tail behind a small head of BEF will do.

Both do fine.


  1. This looks like a great fly. Your flies always work. Remember the tiny no. 6 fly you gave me on our fishing trip last year which caught a spanish nearly 16 inches. That was thrilling!

  2. Spanish mackerel are underrated as a fly fishing target. A 4 pounder will take you into your backing lickidy split. I have fond memories of targeting mackerel in the Sarasota passes with my kayak in years gone by.

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