How To Tie And Fish A Whistler Fly

Whistler Image

Blanton Flashtail Whistler For Pike and Muskie

The Blanton flash tail whistler fly was designed by Dan Blanton.  It is truly an all-around great fly for all types of saltwater and freshwater gamefish. It is perhaps best known by anglers for its effectiveness when fly fishing for pike and muskie.

Dan named the fly The Whistler because of the whistling noise it makes on your cast if the fly cuts through the air just right.

You can fish the fishtail whistler weighted and nonweighted with great success.

Whistler Fly – List Of Materials

  • Hook – Mustad Streamer #8 and up, salt sizes 2 to 3/0. Mustard Streamers are strong with a sharp hook point.
  • Thread -3/0 color black
  • Eyes – large silver bead chain, sized to match hook: 5/32″ and 1/8″ beads work well for #8 hooks.
  • Weighted – Optional, medium weight. Lead wire. Be sure to count your wraps so that you can recreate your best-performing flies.
  • Tail – Black bucktail with strands of crystal flash topping and grizzly saddle hackle fly tying feathers flanked on both sides
  • Body – Crystal Estaz
  • Collar – Grizzly saddle hackle and red chenille Collar

Tying Instructions: How do you tie a whistle fly?

  1. Wrap thread to the rear of the hook.
  2. Optional weight, add several wraps of wire.
  3. Tie in a large bunch of white bucktails.
  4. Add a few strands of Crystal flash – up to 25 strands of silver and pearl flash6 inched in length.
  5. Over the top of the white bucktail add a grizzle saddle hackle on each side.
  6. Feathers curving in and the tips even.
  7. Secure really well by covering all the material and wire.
  8. Wrap thread to the eye of hook tie in a set of bead chain eyes with figure-eight wraps.
  9. If needed, add a drop of Zap A Gap to insure the eyes are secure and don’t walk around the hook.
  10. Tie in red Crystal Estaz at the base of the tail and wrap halfway up a hook and secure.
  11. Select a grizzle saddle hackle, strip off the fluff and tie in the hackle in front of the Estaz.
  12. Wrap hackle up the hook toward the eyes.
  13. Tie off and secure the hackle right behind the eyes.
  14. Bring the thread over the bead eyes and build a small neat head.
  15. Tie off and coat the thread with head cement.Note: If you need more weight you can substitute the bead chain eyes with lead barbell eyes, or add weight to the hook before tying.

Fishing A Whistler Fly

whistler fly

How to Fish A Blanton Flashtail Whistler?

This pattern fishes the same as a streamer or wooly bugger – upward, across stream/river cast with a figure eight, strip retrieves, or just on a swing.

On still water (lakes or ponds) make your cast and let the fly sink to different depths and retrieve with a slow or fast strip. Large and Small Mouth Bass can’t resist this fly. I have used this pattern tied on larger hooks in Canada for big Pike and my friend uses the same pattern for Striped Bass with really good results. If you’re going to the salt to fish this summer, Tie this pattern on the larger salt hooks for saltwater species like Blues and Barracuda.

Best Whistler Fly Colors

Tie a couple up, all the materials for this fly come in a variety of colors. Among the most popular colors are red and yellow, but if I were you, I’d experiment, mix and match your colors and give them a try.  I’m sure this fly won’t let you down and will be one you keep in your fly box.

Tight Lines!

Original Article By Brad Berlin

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