December Fly of the Month- Shad Dart

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.