Campeche Tarpon

April 2019

Patagonia Rainbow

January 2020

Florida Largemouth Bass

April 2020


The Deceiver is a very versatile streamer pattern that is intended to imitate a small bait fish that will be attractive as prey for larger predatory fish. It typically is tied with lighter colors of feathers and buck tail with a little flash, but it can be tied with any combination of colors and in any size from on size 10 bronze hooks for bream to 2/0 stainless steel hooks and larger for saltwater species. The techniques for tying this pattern are generally those that are used for tying many of the other saltwater patterns. Weight can be added with dumbbell and bead-chain eyes or other weights to fish the pattern deep or it can be fished shallow with no weight other than the hook.

  • Hook: Daiichi 472, Size 10 – 2/0
  • Thread: Black Danville’s Fly-Master Waxed, 6/0 or 3/0
  • Wing: Two Whiting Farms White or Grizzly Rooster Feathers, two strands of Crystal Flash Doubled, White and Chartreuse Buck Tail and Brown Buck Tail or Peacock Herl on Top
  • Body: Silver Mylar Tinsel, Medium with Wire Rib - Optional
  • Head: Black Thread/Head Cement

Tie the Deceiver as Follows:

1. Bend the barb down as the hook is placed in the vise and start the thread directly behind the hook eye. Wrap the thread towards rear in side by side or touching wraps, counter spinning the thread to flatten. Wrap thread to approximately 2 eye widths behind the eye and leave thread hanging. This becomes the tie-in point for all materials and is where the back of the head begins.

2. (Optional) Tie-in 6 inch length of Mylar tinsel where thread hangs with three touching thread wraps towards hook bend. Wrap Mylar rearward in touching wraps to approximately mid-way on shank between the barb and point of hook. Reverse and wrap Mylar forward in touching wraps back to where the thread hangs and tie-off Mylar under shank with three forward and touching wraps. Cut Mylar tag under shank and leave thread hanging.

3. Select two hackle feathers and hold them in fingers of left hand with tips matching and top to top. Remove barbs from both sides of both feather shafts while holding the matched feather tips by left fingers. Leave barbs on the tips of the hackles at a length that is approximately 1.5 the length of the hook shank (eye to barb or hook bend). Hold paired feathers between left fingers at the point where the barbs remain and others have been removed. Tips should be even and the two hackle feathers should be top to top with tips flaring. The point where the barbs begin becomes the tie-in point for the hackles. Hold the paired hackles between the left thumb and middle finger with hackles horizontal to hook shank and barbs vertical. Place the paired hackles on top of the hook shank with the tie-in point of the hackles on top of where the thread is hanging. Make one soft thread wrap over the hackle shafts and pull upward to tighten slightly and make two more wraps forward and touching in the same manner. Leave the thread hanging and release hold on the hackles to see if they lay horizontal and with barbs vertical. The hackles may be adjusted for position by holding them by the tips and ends of the bare shafts and changing their position by shifting the tips and shafts slightly for side to side. Make three more forward and touching thread wraps when satisfied with position, cut remaining stubs of shafts, wrap thread to hook eye and then wrap in touching wraps rearward to original tie-in point. Do not wrap past or behind the original thread wrap.

4. Tie two strands of Crystal Flash with three forward and touching thread wraps, double over and wrap thread rearward in three touching wraps to tie-in point. Crystal Flash ends should be cup at approximately one half inch beyond hackle tips.

5. Cut sparse bunch of white buck tail and generally even tips by holding butts in right fingers and grasping the longer tips in fingers of left hand. Pull long tips from bunch and then overlap both bunches to generally even tips. The tips do not need to match perfectly. Hold bunch in left fingers and cut butts, leaving bunch approximately the length from eye to bend of hook. Hold bunch in left fingers with tips just showing, hold under shank where thread hangs with butts short of eye, make three forward gentle wraps by pulling thread downward with each wrap, continue touching thread wraps to eye and then back to tie-in point.

6. Cut a second sparse bunch of white buck tail, generally even tips as in Step 5, cut to a length that will extend to approximately half way between hook bend and tips of hackles. Hold bunch in left fingers at tie-in point and wrap thread forward in touching turns to eye and back to tie-in point as in Step 5.

7. Cut sparse bunch of chartreuse buck tail, even, cut to length and tie in on top of white buck tail as in Step. 6.

8. Cut sparse bunch of dark buck tail or two peacock herl barbs, cut to length and tie in on top of chartreuse buck tail as in Step 7.

9. Wrap thread in touching turns forward and rearward over the head until all hair butts are covered, finish with wraps to back of head, whip finish forward and seal with head cement.

Flies & Tying Instructions

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Articles written and published by Tom Logan and other expert fly fishermen. Includes fly tying and casting tips.

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