Note: This fly-tying tutorial from Greg Senyo was originally published in his exclusive Fishhound blog – The Senyo Scene.
I love to tie complicated flies. But at times during the fishing season, when my supply has diminished, I find it hard to tie all the patterns I want or need for a successful outing. My solution is the Ice Man Minnow – a 30-second guide fly that can be tied in multiple colors and in bulk with very little time wasted.
Over the years this durable fly has accounted for many salmon, steelhead, trout, char, bass, panfish and a host of other gamefish across the continent. In sharing this speed-tie, I hope to bring you the same success.
In case you’re new to tube flies, the concept is simple: Tie your fly on a piece of tubing instead of a hook. When you’re on the water, string your line through the tube and then tie on your hook. The hook trails the fly. The Ice Man Minnow uses dumbbell eyes for weight. With other patterns, if you need weight, string on a conehead in front of the fly.
Note: To tie a tube fly you’ll need a graduated pin, which can be used in a regular vise. A great and affordable method is to use the Eumer Tube Fly Adapter Kit, which sells for about $20 and fits in a regular vise.
Senyo’s Ice Man Minnow Recipe
- Tubing: Eumer Medium Clear
- Thread: Uni 6/0 Fluorescent Orange
- Belly: Hareline Senyo Laser Dub
- Wing: Hareline Pearl Ice Dub
- Eyes: Hareline Small Predator Eyes
- Head: Senyo Laser Dub
Step #1: Attach a 3″ piece of Eumer Medium Plastic Tubing to any tapered tube-fly tying pin. Attach Uni 6/0 Fluorescent Orange thread at the rear and leave roughly 1/4″ of tubing exposed behind the thread.
Step #2: Center-tie in a sparse clump of Hareline Senyo’s Laser Dub (any color) and fold it over onto itself, and then bring your tying thread to the front.
Step #3: Center-tie in a sparse clump of Hareline Pearl Ice Dub and fold over again toward the rear.
Step #4: Attach a size small Hareline Predator Eye dumbbell to the bottom of the tubing and apply a drop of superglue.
Step #5: Bring the fly back to the upright position and center-tie in a sparse clump of Senyo’s Laser Dub. At this point apply another drop of superglue and cut the thread.
Step #6: Move forward another ¼ inch on the tubing and repeat the last five steps again until you have completed four fly patterns in different color versions.
Step #7: If you want, take a permanent marker and mark up your minnows to imitate the baitfish in your area.
Step #8: Pull the entire stick off your vise, and when you’re ready to fish, just cut one off, thread your tippet through the tubing and tie it on with a No. 10 Daiichi X510 hook. Push the eye of the hook back into the tubing and you’re ready to go.