When trying to decide what type of flies you will need for your upcoming bonefish excursion, no single fly better fulfills your needs than the Crazy Charlie. This imitation shrimp pattern was originated by Bob Nauheim, the owner of a California fishing travel company. The original Charlie pattern has been imitated and adapted more than almost any other single salt water fly pattern, to the extent where Crazy Charlie’s encompass an entire family of bonefish patterns. However after all the adaptations in color, size and material, the Charlie is an extremely effective imitator of just about every shrimp or the smaller crab species that exist in the oceans and freshwater. Originally, the Crazy Charlie was designed to imitate small baitfish like glass minnows (Jenkinsia lamprotaenia, or Anchoe mitchelli) but with the addition of the steelheader fly pattern and bead-chain weighting technique the Charlie became a sink and strip type pattern. It is this erratic style of bottom bouncing action that elicits fierce strikes from bonefish and makes the Charlie one of the best bonefish patterns on the market and a must have for every serious salt angler.
Start this fly by placing the hook into you vice securely and attaching your thread behind the hook eye.
Tie down a three inch strip of clear vinyl rib and cover it with thread until you reach the point above the hook barb. Advance your thread to the front of the fly once more and this time tie down two strips of pearl flashabou. Wrap the flashabou neatly down and back up the body of the fly and tie it off behind the hook eye.
Wrap the vinyl rib forward up the body of the fly and tie it off at approximately the ¾ mark on the shank.
Select a pair of bead chain eyes and tie them on to the hook shank (at the ¾ mark) using a figure eight method. Once the eyes are secured in place tightly a small drop of head cement to the eyes this will help to hold things in place on the hook shank better than just thread alone.
Clip and stack a small bunch of white calf hair and measure it against your hook shank. When tied down, the hairs should extend just a bit past the end of the hook. When the head cement on the eyes has completely dried, tie in the calf tail to the underside of the hook shank in front of the bead chain eyes. Clip the excess tag ends of hair and build a small neat tapering head for the fly. Whip finish the thread and cement thoroughly.