December Fly of the Month: Shad Dart
Demonstrated by John Hadley
Bring your vise, thread and bobbin, other materials will be provided to tie a fly or two.
Originator: Newell Steele, Angler’s Lie. Newell showed me this fly when I first went on a NVATU chapter’s “Fish with a Member” trip for Shad on the Rappahannock River several years ago and I caught lots of Shad. It is an easy, simple and fast fly to tie. It can be tied with white or any other color chenille. A good fly for beginner fly tiers.
Technique and material to be learned:
Attach a cone head
Use slinky fiber and holographic fiber for a tail
Attach various color chenille bodies
Shad Dart Recipe:
Hook: TMC 3769, TMC 3761 (Sproat Bend), Orvis 122J or any 2X Long hook
Thread: White 3/0 or 6/0, some use mono-thread
Head: Red Cone 3/16” or ¼” with Sproat Bend. Or use other colors: brass, pink
Tail: White Slinky Fiber, craft fur or other synthetic fiber
Silver/Gold Holographic Fly Fiber – four to eight strands on each side,
(Optional: Flashaboo or Krystal Flash)
Body: Pearl/White Speckled Chenille or other colors: light green
Fishing Tip: I start with the original white Shad Dart but if it is not working I try another color. In my limited Shad fishing experience I’ve found Shad fishing is best in the early morning, late afternoon or on a cloudy day and worst on a bright sunny day. Cast out about 45 degrees out from straight down stream and let the fly sink and drift to dead downstream then strip in the line. Add a few yards with following casts, and then add weight to get deeper if necessary. In wadeable water I fish with a floating line and a sinking tippet. From a boat, in deeper water, I fish with a sinking line. The fish run in schools so if fishing from an anchored boat and other boats are catching fish but you aren’t you need to up anchor, move a few yards to one side or the other, and try again until you get over a school and start catching fish. I like using a seven weight rod.