The Eat Me Fly is originally the brainchild of Capt. Scott Hamilton of Jupiter, FL (www.flyfishingextremes.com). Capt. Scott fishes the inshore and offshore waters of Palm Beach county. He developed this fly needing something that not only looked the part of a natural baitfish but was durable to last many eats by a variety of gamefish. One of the beauties of the Eat Me is that once the technique is nailed down, you can adjust the size and color to fit any bait or fishing situation. Over 100 different species have been caught on Eat Me Flies. Scott also calls his fly a Hamilton Special when a little PC is needed.
The Ole Florida version mainly differs from the original as everything is tied on top of the short hook shank. On the original, there’s material under the hook. I changed this up to help the fly from fouling. I feel that Scott’s version on bigger flies (#2/0 and up) works better as his gives a wider profile. On the smaller ones like I tie for the shop (#4 & #1/0) I like the skinner profile the Ole Florida version provides. Both work fantastic and would never go anywhere in the salt without a box full of them.
Eat Me Fly Materials:
For the Eat Me’s at the shop, we use #4 Mustad C68SZ or #1/0 Owner Aki’s. A larger Mustad would work fine but feel the Owner is a heavier duty hook. For the demo fly, I’m showing a #1/0 Olive & Polar Eat Me on an Owner Aki. Start the mono thread behind the eye of the hook and wrap back to a point in between the hook point and barb. Reverse direction and wrap the thread back to half way between the hook point and the rear of the eye.
I prep my Super Hair by cutting big bundles from the full length and laying them on the tying table. I prep one bundle at a 1/3 and another at 1/2 the full length of Super Hair. Typically the bottom three bundles tied on will get the 1/3 length and the top one-three bundles will use the 1/2 length. For the #1/0 fly being shown, I use a total of five Super Hair bundles, four Polar and one Olive.
Separate a smaller clump of Super Hair about the size of a bodkin handle away from the bigger stack. Cut the ends so they’re straight. Extend the cut ends barely past the bend of the hook and tie down moving towards the rear of the fly. Stop slightly before the hook point. Take two jam wraps behind the bundle and then wrap forward to your ending point. This end point will be the same on all the clumps tied in.
Trim the butt ends over the eye of the hook at a 45 degree angle. This is achieved by cutting straight into the fly with the scissor tips coming in over the eye pointing towards the rear. The cut starts right behind the eye and ends at the point where the thread started. This is how each bundle is cut. Save this cut clump to use for the next step.
Wrap the thread forward to cover the cut butts. Wrap to the eye of the hook and return to the thread staring point (same point as where step 1 started).
Use the cut clump of Polar Super Hair from step 1. It should be the same size as the first (all the clumps will be the same size). Create a short taper so the shortest fibers are on the bottom and the longest are on top. Tie this clump in directly on top of the previous so the shortest piece from this clump will match up to the longest from the previous one (how each of the next clumps are tied in). Wrap back to the ending point and take two jam wrap behind everything tied on the hook. Return the thread to the ending point. Cut and wrap the butts once again at the 45 degree angle and return to your starting point.
Repeat step 5 with another clump of Polar Super Hair. When tying down the taper at the head, stop right behind the eye of the hook.
Cut off five strands of Lt Olive Pearl Sparkleflash. If this was a #4, I would use four strands, a #3/0 would be six strands. Double the Sparkleflash around the thread, lift up and wrap back over the top of the head back to your ending point. Make sure it’s running down the center. No jam wraps are necessary on this step. Trim the ends at slightly different lengths, the shortest being as long as the longest piece of Super Hair. End by returning your thread to the starting point.
Add a 4th layer of Super Hair. In this case I like to use another layer of Polar. Most other cases I would start my top color on this step. This is also a great place to add a highlight color like Lavender or Pink. At this stage I’m taking Super Hair clumps from the batch I cut in half. Tie in the same way as the previous steps. If tying a #4, this would be your last clump of Super Hair.
Tie in a 5th layer of Super Hair. This will be a layer of Olive for this particular fly. Tie in the same way as the others but stop your thread behind the eye of the hook so you can add a Sparkleflash topper.
Fold five pieces of Sparkleflash around thread and wrap the flash back to the rear of the head. For this fly, I use four strands of Lt Olive Pearl mixed with one strand of Dk Olive Pearl. If you make one end just a touch shorter than the other, it should lay the perfect length of the fly. Whip finish and put the knots on top of the head so they don’t effect the eye placement. Trim any stray Super Hairs so the body is short at the base and gets longer as it goes towards the top. This helps prevent fouling.
For 3D eyes, use 1/4″ for #1/0 and 3/16″ for #4. Silver eyes work great, but I like gold ones on Brown and Tan patterns and Red or Mirage eyes also work on most color combos. Position the eyes at the thread start point with half the eye on the straight part of the head and the other half on the 45 degree angle part of the head. Place the eyes so only the bottom half is stuck on. Check your fly from straight on to make sure your eyes are even.
Epoxy the head with 5-min Z-Poxy. Don’t go over the eyes. Just fill in the gap between the eyes and around them. I put a little extra between the eyes to make the hump of the head. This provides a little extra weight and twitch in the water. When the fly is in the drying wheel, I’ll stop it at the bottom of the rotation to get a little extra ooze of epoxy between the eyes. Put epoxy behind the eyes but don’t get it in the super hair. If you do, it has some capillary action and will draw the epoxy deeper into the body.