Tag Archives: Fly Tying

The Half & Half

A classic Half & Half
A classic Half & Half

The Half & Half fly is a must fly for any saltwater angler. This fly combines two of the most popular and deadly flies: Bob Clouser’s Clouser Minnow and Lefty Kreh’s Deciever.  The fly has great movement from both the hackle in the back and the lead eyes in the front.  The position of the lead dumbell eyes allow the hook to ride pointing up.

If I could only have one saltwater fly, this would be it.  This fly can be fished in the salt or in fresh water.  Last memorial day at Brant Lake, NY, I hooked up with pickerel, small and large mouth bass, trout, and crappie with a small all grey Half & Half.  Many version exist and once you get the hang of it you can create your own to suit local baitfish conditions.

Here is a recipe for a simple Half & Half

Hook: Any Size

Thread: White Danville 210 Denier

Eyes: Red Lead Dumbbell

Tail: White Saddle Hackle

Body: White and Pink Bucktail

Step 1:

Start your tying thread at the eye of the hook and work to the half way point of the shank, then come back half way to the 3/4 position on the hook shank.  Build up a small thread bump to put your dumbbell eyes.

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Step 2:

Tie in your dumbbell eyes using figure eight wraps.

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Step 3:

Work you tying thread to the back of the hook shank and tie in your saddle hackle.  I used two saddle hackles but most used up to six.  After you tie in and clip your saddle hackles, take your tying thread back up to the front of the hook shank.

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Step 4:

Clip off a clump of white bucktail that is just a little less then the length from the hook eye to the end of the saddle hackles.  Tie in the buck tail in front of the dumbbell eyes.  Then bring your tying thread behind the dumbbell eyes and take a few wraps to bring down the bucktail behind the dumbbell eyes.

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Step 5:

Take the fly out of the vise and put it back into the vise upside down.  Clip a  clump of colored bucktail that is same length as the first bunch.  Tie in the clump in front of the dumbbell eyes.  You don’t need to bring the tying thread all the way against the eyes.  You want the space for the epoxy that will hold it all together and make it more durable in the salt.

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Step 6:

Whip finish and apply epoxy in front and around the dumbbell eyes and then go fishing!

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Finished Half & Half

Once you get the basic Half & Half down you can add flash and create different variations.  This is a great saltwater and freshwater fly that has taken over 20 species of fish for me.

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Baitfish Variation:
Thread: White 210 Danville
Eyes: Medium Red Dumbbell
Tail: White Bucktail under white EP Fiber mixed with Krystal Flash and Flashabou
Collar: White Bucktail under Blue Bucktail
Topping: Peacock Herl
Head: 30 minute Epoxy
Another Baitfish Variation:
Another Baitfish Variation:
Thread: White 210 Danville
Eyes: Medium Red Dumbbell
Tail: White Bucktail under white EP Fiber under 3 Grizzle and White Saddle Hackles mixed with Krystal Flash and Flashabou
Collar: Mixed Green EP Fibers
Topping: Peacock Herl
Throat: Red Krystal Flash
Head: 30 minute Epoxy
The original riding the way  it will when it is in the water
Baitfish Variation:
Thread: White 210 Danville
Eyes: Medium Red Dumbbell
Tail: Chartreuse Bucktail under Chartreuse Saddle Hackle mixed with Krystal Flash and Flashabou
Collar: White Bucktail and Chartreuse Bucktail
Head: 30 minute Epoxy
A skinny sand eel version:
A skinny sand eel version:
Thread: White 210 Danville
Eyes: Medium Red Dumbbell
Tail: White Bucktail under white EP Fiber mixed with Krystal Flash
Collar: Red Bucktail with Chartreuse Bucktail
Head: 30 minute Epoxy