How to Tie: Sand Eel Fly

In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Peter Charles from Hooked4life Fly Fishing shows us how to tie an extremely effective striped bass pattern for shallow water situations, a Sand Eel Fly.

Difficulty: Easy

When it comes to shallow water striped bass fishing, there may be no better baitfish to imitate than sand eels. These small meal items are particularly effective due to being an abundant food source for stripers to gorge on, making them very familiar. This can make for very exciting fishing as well, being that you can sight fish in knee deep water. A Sand Eel Fly will produce during the entirety of the striper season and make for some of the most exhilarating fishing of the year.

Some of the best aspects of sand eel flies are their simplicity and having the ability to tie high volumes. This makes it best for consistency, which is always important when tying flies regardless of skill level. One thing about tying this Sand Eel Fly is to be careful and go slowly when applying epoxy. Going too fast and not being patient can lead to a ruined fly and time wasted, a feeling that every fly tyer has experienced before.

For anglers making the transition to saltwater striped bass, this is a great first pattern. The Sand Eel Fly, Clouser Minnow, and Lefty’s Deceiver are some of my personal favorite striper flies and have been since I first started. Saltwater fly fishing can be intimidating, but with confidence patterns and patience there can be great success. This Sand Eel Fly is one that any striped bass angler should carry with them, especially when targeting fish in shallow water.


  • Hook: 2x Strong, Short Shank Stainless Steel – Size 2 to 2/0
  • Thread: Danville Monofilament Fine
  • Belly: White Bucktail
  • First Layer of Back: Olive Bucktail
  • Second Layer of Back: Peacock Herl
  • Lateral Scale: Pearlescent Flash
  • Eyes: Mylar-Stick-On-Eyes – 3/32″ to 1/8″

Now you know how to tie a Sand Eel Fly!

Video and ingredients courtesy of hooked4lifeca.

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