I designed this fly for the many locals and vacationers who DIY fly fish from the shorelines of the Hawaiin Islands. It imitates a number of reef shrimp and crabs. But, i designed it specifically to match the Banded Coral Shrimp (Opea Huna), which is the most common of the reef shrimp in Hawaii.
I patterned this fly after the fairly infamous Avalon Permit Fly that is fished almost exclusively for permit, tarpon, bonefish and other predators in Cuba. It was created originally by Mauro Ginevri and William in 2012. In fact, it’s the Avalon Permit Fly I tied for Cuba that I have had so much success with hunting the Bluefin Trevaly on both Kauai and the Big Island.
The architecture of this fly is similar to the avalon permit fly, but made with different colors and more modern synthetic materials to match the natural Banded Coral Shrimp. I tie the exact same “keel” system in the fly so that the hook rides up, avoiding snagging. But, even more important is the clicking sound the beads of the keel make when stripped; practically the identical sound that the naturals make.
in addition to the more realistic colors of the Banded Coral Shimp’s arms/pinchers, I tie in glow in the dark rubber legs along with rabbit strips that add action fish can’t resist. In addition, I fashion in a realistic egg pattern (which is typically used in steelhead flies) because the banded Coral Shrimp carries a very obvious egg sack. Lastly i use black dumbbell eyes to more match the eyes of the natural and to help the fly get into the right part of the water column quickly.
One other improvement i have made is in the fly’s durability. I would frequently break the keel system after the punishment of fighting a fish or the fly hitting the lava or reef. Now, i use epoxy on the head which makes the fly much more durable, and also closer to imitating the natural.
Strip this fly quickly. I recommend smaller sizes 4 & 6 so that you can catch a myriad of smaller reef fish in the mix. if solely targeting the larger predators like the bluefin trevally go with a larger size 2.
BTW, i caught a big dorado in Baja on this fly in Oct of 2022. So, i’m confident it works on many saltwater predators.