Warmwater Fly of the month: March, 2003 - The Fence Rider

Tying the Fence Rider


#8 Fence Rider Tied By Jack Ellis

The Fence Rider
The Fence Rider is a pattern that was developed from the "too small/too big pattern. This is where a pattern is too small for the bass and yet it is too big for bream (Crappie, Bluegill, Etc). This pattern may not be a hardy meal for a bass and it may be too large for a bream. The big boy bream will just love this fly. The #6 is easily casted on a 5wt rod.


Jack Ellis
Jack Ellis lives in East Texas on the shore of a secluded private lake. Jack has published two books: The Sunfishes A Fly Fishing Jouney of Discovery (A must for any warm water fly fisher) and Bassin' with a Fly Rod. Some of Jack's other patterns are Flathead Diver series, and Grinnel.



Hook: Mustad 3366 #6
Thread: Black 6/0
Weedguard: Hard Mono (.015)
Tail : Brown Marabou & 2 Cree or
Grizzly hackle tips, splayed
Skirt: Deer hair tip (color optional)
Body: Deer hair (color optional)
Eyes: 3mm or 4mm hollow doll eyes

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Step 1: Lay a thread base starting on the shank right above the point of the hook to about the bend of the shank.

Step 2: Cut about a 3 inches of mono and with pair of pliers flatten about 1/4 of an inch of the mono.

Step 3: Laying flat piece of mono on the thread base and wrap thread over the mono to a a short distance down the bend.

Step 4: Apply cement to the windings and let dry.

Step 5: Selected a small clump of squirrel tail with the tips even and about the same length of the hook shank.

Step 6: Tie the squirrel tail in on the thread windings and trim.

Step 7: Selected a generous clup of brown marabou feathers about 1 1/2 the length of the hook shank.

Step 8: Tie in the marabou right on top of the squirrel tail.

Step 9: Select two matching hackle tips from the same neck. The length should be two hook shank length.

Step 10: Tie in one feather to the side of the hook with the dull side of the feather towards you.

Step 11: Tie in the other feather on the oppisite side of the hook with the dull side of the feather away from you. This is what is call a splayed tail.

Step 12: Trim off any excess butt tips of the feathers and apply a whip finish. Do not cut the thread.

Step 13: Apply cement to the windings and let dry.

Step 14: For the shirt, select a sparse amount of deer hair. Even the tips. The length should be a bit shorter that the marabou. Stack directly on top of the windings.

Step 15: Hold the skirt in place and talk a number of turns of thread around the deer hair and pull the thread tighter on each turn.

Step 16: Your skirt should look like the picture on the far right.

Step 17: Trim off the excess deer hair.

Step 18: Apply a couple of half hicitches.

Step 19: Move your thread to the bare part of the hook and apply a couple more half hitches.

Step 20: Get about an pencil width of deer hair and lay it at the point where you plaled the half hitches.

Step 21: Take two loose turns of thread around the hair and hook shank and pull tight. This will spin the deer hair around the hook.

Step 22: Move your thread to the front of the just spunned hair and make a couple of wraps around the hook.

Step 23: With a hair hair pusher push back the hair. Repeat steps 20thru 23, until there is about 1 1/2 eye length left on the th hook shank.

Step 24: Turn the hook it under side and trim the bottom half of the hair flat. This will help with weedguard.

Step 25: Pull back the front of the deer hair and slide the weedguard (mono) through the eye of the hook, fold it over and back.

Step 26: Make several wraps of thread over the mono (covering it). Trim off any excess weedguard.

Step 27: Whip finish and cut thread.

Step 28: Start timming the hair so that it look like the picture in Step 29: The width if the pattern should be about 1 cm.

Step 29: The pattern after trimming the hair.

Step 30: Apply Dave's Flex Cement to the bottom and the front of the hair.

Step 31: Make a small indentation with your siccors for a hole large enough to receive a doll eye. Do this to both sides.

Step 32: OR make a small indentation with a burning tool for a hole large enough to receive a doll eye. Do this to both sides.

Step 33: Attach the eyes with goop or Zap-A-Gap.

Step 34: The finished pattern.