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Anderson Hammerhead

Written by Ian Anderson

Completed Anderson Hammerhead

Background The Hammerhead was developed during the summer of 2009 while fishing for large Great Lakes carp on the Beaver Island Archipelago. While these carp can often shy away from big flies there are time when they are actively feeding and will aggressively take larger flies. The Hammerhead has become a “go to” fly in such situations for the guides in the area that fish for these large carp. The double bead-chain eyes add an attractive rattle and the Glow-in-the-Dark Flashabou helps the fish see this fly even in murky water. This fly can also be adjusted while on the water in order to change the presentation as needed. The rubber legs, the Maylar Motion and even the extra eyes can be trimmed off as needed while on the water for a more subtle and softer presentation. As an added bonus, it has proven to be a great fly for smallmouth, largemouth, drum and rock bass as well. It has even caught Brown Trout and Bonefish!

Materials

Hook:
Mustad R74 #4
Thread:
UTC 210 Black
Weight:
.035 Lead Free Wire
Eyes:
Extra Large Gold Bead Chain
Tail:
Spirit River Glow-in-the-dark Mylar Motion, Fl. Green and Fl. Yellow, pumpkin
Sili Legs
Rear Body:
Any dark yarn
Front Body:
Crawdad Orange Magnum cut (1/4”) Rabbit Zonker Strip

Instructions

1) Attach the thread about 1 eye length behind the eye of the hook. Since you will be tying in some bead-chain eyes you can make a small bump of thread 1 to 1/2 eye lengths behind the hook eye to help tie in the eyes. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 1
2) Tie in the four extra large bead-chain eyes 1 eye length behind the eye of the hook. Make certain you do not crowd the eye. You will need the extra room for completing the fly. Advance your thread to the end of the hook shank. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 2
3) Place 10 wraps of .035 lead (or lead free) wire on the shank and push the wraps up to the bead-cahin eyes. Build a thread damn behind the lead wraps. This will make certain they stay against the eyes and it will build a nice transition from the lead wraps to the shank of the hook. Advance the thread to the end of the hook shank. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 3
4) Cut three strands of Spirit River Glow in the Dark Mylar Motion (either the yellow or the orange) and attach them to the hook in the mid point of the strands so that half is over the back of the hook and half is over the front of the hook. When you tie these in you should attach them and place just a few wraps of thread (3 or 4) on the hook moving towards the eye of the hook. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 4
5) Cut three strands of the other color of Spirit River Glow in the Dark Mylar Motion and tie them in like the first, at the mid-point of the strands. Your three or four wraps of thread to hold these in should be in front of those in step 4 moving up towards the eye of the hook. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 5
6) Cut three strands of Pumpkin Sili legs and tie them in like the Mylar Motion. Again, the three or four thread wraps holding the legs in should be in front of the wraps in step 5 and moving towards the eye of the hook. Once you have these tied in take your thread back down to the first wrap of the first set of Mylar motion. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 6
7) Fold all of the Maylar Motion and Sili legs back over the back of the hook and tie them down well. Here you can put plenty of thread wraps back and forth over the Maylar Motion and Sili Legs to make certain they are secure and to level them off some. Once wrapped in advance your thread to the end of the wraps of lead wire. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 7
8) Attach the dark yarn you are going to use for the rear body right at the end of the wraps of lead. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 8
9) Wrap down the yarn along the hook shank back to the end of the shank. Apply more wraps of thread to help level off this section between the end of the shank and the end of the lead wraps. It does not have to be perfectly level, the yarn will level it up when wrapped on the shank but by adding some thread wraps it helps it go on more smoothly. Advance your thread to the back of the wraps of lead. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 9
10) Palmer the yarm forward to your thread. The wraps should be just in front of each other and somewhat flat. You can spin the yarn if you want more of a segmented look. In the end the wraps of yarn should be level with the wraps of lead. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 10
11) You are now going to tie in the magnum zonker strip for the upper half of the body. You need to turn the fly over so that it is hook point up. You are going to advance your thread half way from the bead-chain eyes and the end of the lead wraps. Tie in the tip of the magnum zonker, skin side up, and wrap back to the end of the lead wraps. This is important because if you tie in the zonker too close to the eyes you will not get the corrects wraps of rabbit fur and if the zonker is too far back on the hook shank you will get too much rabbit on the hook. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 11
12) You will wrap two and a half times up the hook shank towards the bead-chain eyes. When you begin to wrap the zonker on the hook shank it will flip over so that the fur is now up. Each wrap should overlap the previous just a little. When you have palmered the zonker strip correctly the forward edge of the strip will be against the back of the bead-chain eyes. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 12
13) With the zonker strip against the back of the bead-chain eyes you will turn the fly over (hook point down) and as you bring the zonker over the top you will bring it forward between the mid-point of the bead-chain eyes. You want to stroke the fur forward and backward so that hair splits right over the mid-point of the bead-chain eyes. This way you can easily wrap your thread over the zonker strip and the hook to bind down the zonker strip. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 13
14) While still holding the zonker strip forward between the bead-chain eyes wrap your thread over the zonker strip and the hook four or five times. Make certain you put a little tension on the last couple of wraps so that the zonker strip is held in really well. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 14
15) After you have the zonker strip bound to the hook shank you will want to cut off the excess zonker. You will want to put the tip of your scissors at a 45 degree angle to the zonker strip so that when you cut off the zonker you will have a pointed strip of zonker left between the bead-chain eyes. This also is important because if you cut too much (too close to the thread you might not secure the zonker to the hook. If you cut off too much of a “zonker tag” you will end up with a larger head for the fly. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 15
16) You should have a small trianlge of zonker between the bead-chain eyes. You will now criss cross back and forth over the eyes to cover up the tip of the zonker and secure the strip of fur. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 16
17) When you wrap back and forth between the eyes and behind the eyes to bind in the zonker and cover it up you might end up with a small patch of fur showing on the bottom side of the fly. This is fine since this fly will ride hook point up. As long as you have the upper side covered and the zonker strip secured. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 17
18) With the zonker secure and covered between the eyes you will advance the thread in front of the bead-chain eyes and behind the eye of the hook. Here you will simply build up a small “nose” to taper the head to the eye of the hook. Once complete, whip finish and cut your thread. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 18
19) The last step is to trim the Maylar motion so that it is about as long as the Sili legs. If you want you can trim both the Mylar motion and Sili legs shorter as well as uneven. Anderson Hammerhead - Step 19

The Hammerhead can be tied up in a number of colors and combinations. It can also be tied on different hook models. The three primary components to the fly are the eyes (head), the rabbit (body) and the Maylar Motion and rubber legs (tail). If you would prefer to have a shorter profile for the body you can use a standard streamer/nymph hook or a 1x, 2x, 3x hook. The yarn wrapped on the shank is simply “filler” and can be shortened or eliminated. As well, the wraps fo lead can be shortened or eliminated. Below is a couple of images of various Hammerhead flies and how they glow in the dark. The glow in the dark material was chosen because it will emit it’s own light and thus have better visabilty in deeper or off colored water.

Hammerheads of a Different Color Hammerheads in The Dark

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Here are a couple of fish that fell to the Hammerhead. The carp was off of Whiskey Island in Lake Michigan and the Smallmouth was on Lake St. Clair.

Great Lakes Carp Taken on Hammerhead Lake St. Clair Smallie fell for an Olive Hammerhead

Questions about tying this fly do not hesitate to contact me. Keep those irons dressed!

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