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The Flats Ghost
  |  First Published: September 2011



Over recent years here in Australia fly-fishing and fly tying has taken a severe battering from the success of soft plastics.

Ten years ago flyfishing was one of the fastest growing sports in the country, then within a matter of 12 months it fell completely off the radar for most people except for the diehard fanatics.

Australia still provides some fantastic opportunities in terms of species, and waters to fish for both fresh and saltwater species. Not only that, Australia has some world class and very innovative fly tyers as well.

This particular pattern has an apt name given its use by a group of anglers that could be seen as ghosts, those mystical often elusive and evasive solitary anglers the flyfishers and their saltwater cousins the ‘swoffers’.

The fly in itself is nothing special, its design and method of use is similar and no different to myriad other flies around the world.

It is unassuming in looks, even bland, but when it comes to picking off those finicky estuary species it comes into its own.

Look at any saltwater fly collection and you will see pinks, blues, oranges, yellow, chartreuse and so on, which are all effective colours most of the time.

However there are those days when fishing estuary systems for the likes of bream, flathead and whiting when those colours will see the flats evacuate at a rate of knots.

The ghost comes into its own at these times when the fish can be a little pernickety. Presentation is as for most similar patterns, casting ahead of cruising or in close proximity to fish holding against structure.

The colouration is such that it won’t startle the fish and is often taken for small shrimp or yabbies.

Again it can be tied in much larger sizes and used for bigger species on 8-10 weight outfits. My preference however is for the smaller size hooks of #4-8 and light outfits in the 4-5 weight range, which are more in tune with my preferred style of lightweight fishing.

Facts

TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS

HOOK: Mustad 34007 #4
THREAD:White Gudebrod or similar
BODY: Pearl tinsel
WING:White fish hair or DNA
TAIL:White fish hair pearl crystal flash
EYES:Bead chain eyes.

Reads: 774

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