Tying Video – Helm’s Panfish Predator

Many moons ago, Skip Morris wrote wonderful book about Tying Foam Flies. In that book he ties a fly he calls the predator.  It is a dragonfly larva presentation and tied in such a manner as to be fished along the bottom of the stream.  Fast forward a number of years and another gentleman by the name of Chris Helm has taken that subsurface “Predator” fly and turned it into a wonderful topwater pattern for panfish and even Bass.  Eventually, Chris passed along his knowledge on the topwater version in a DVD he did back in the mid-2000’s called “Panfish Flies That Work“.  The Helm’s version is tied as a topwater version and it uses bright colors to attract the fish.  This weeks fly tying video is on the Chris Helm version of the Predator I loosely call the Helm’s Panfish Predator.  Many people only know this fly through the panfish version and are not aware that there even was a subsurface version but some do so I try to distinguish this version from the “original”.

Both are easy to tie but this week I wanted to focus on a productive topwater/terrestrial fly for panfish and Bass.  Although we are in the thick of the fall streamer bite don’t think that streamers are the only thing the fish will target.  I have caught many panfish and Bass into late November on topwater Predators and It’s-A-BugsThe days can still get warm and there are plenty of dragonflies, damsel flies, crickets and hoppers splashing into the water to keep the fish looking up for a quick meal.  So, the Helm’s Panfish Predator is a great fly to throw around this time of year.  I tie it in a size 8 and 10 for panfish and a 4 and 6 for Bass.  Don’t be surprised to see both species go for the bigger and smaller sizes though.  I generally only tie them in the bright Chartreuse color but you can certainly experiment and find something that works well for you on your waters.  I generally cast it out towards grass beds, logs, rock and current seems.  I will give it small (say 1 inch) strips, just enough to look like a bug trying to scoot across the ware to safety.  However, if I know there are some fish away from cover I will sometimes drag this or even skip it across the surface where the fish are.  It is a fun fly to tie and even more fun to fish.  So, tie some up for this fall as well as to be ready for next spring and summer.  Have some fun.

Hook:Mustad 9672, #8
Thread:Danville 6/0, Fl. Chartreuse
Tail:Krystal Flash, Fl. Chartreuse
Back/Head/Wing:2mm Craft Foam, Chartreuse
Body:Ice Dub, Fl. Chartreuse
Legs:Medium Round Rubber Legs, Fl. Orange
Eyes:Wapsi Black Mono Eyes, Large
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I am continuing over the next few weeks with more streamer patterns.  All are productive patterns for both cold and warm water species.  Plus, they are fun to tie.  Stay Tuned.

If you would like to purchase some Helm’s Panfish Predators there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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