Tying a Sardina Fly with Jay and Guy

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This is the director’s cut of a shorter video posted on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. Thanks to Guy Allen who has tied and fished this fly to perfection and is always prepared to fish some version of the pattern on his yearly trip to Baja.

So. Last minute, I decided to join Guy and Jim on their adventure to Baja. I had a great time and some blog posts will follow when I get time to write them. For the week we were there, the sardina caught a few fish but the ballyhoo fly was better because there were not very many flat iron herring around. Still this is a pattern one would be foolish to omit from their Baja fly box.

I hope you enjoy the discussion as Guy and I explore the tying and fishing of this great saltwater fly.

Jay Nicholas, spring season 2017

3 thoughts on “Tying a Sardina Fly with Jay and Guy

  1. Jay

    That is a great looking Sardina pattern. Where have you found success with it? Personally for me, I like to add a small lateral line of bright yellow Farrar Blend as well as mixing in a bit of root beer/ brown into the back. The sardinas that I’ve seen in Baja exhibit a brownish hue when frightened/ fleeing from prey. Then they change back to blue/green/grey. They are a pretty neat little fish.

    I hope all is well, tight lines,

    Daniel Herrig Deneki Outdoors

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Daniel: I can not do justice to your question, because I have just returned from my very first Baja trip and am thus a bare beginner. We barely fished the sardina last week, but my friend Guy has had great success using this fly fishing with Gary Bulla out of La Ventana. Guy tells me that they deliberately keep their flies subdued with little or no flash (some materials include the flash so they must either be picked out or use a different flash-free material. Guy tells me that the bait does vary in color especially depending on how long they are in the bait tank and perhaps other factors he is not sure of. They think the flies tied with a pale olive back have been the most effective in the past but always take materials down with them to match size and color hues of the season when they are fishing. The Ballyhoo were on the menu last week so we just fished the sardina occasionally, at times when the fish were rejecting our big ballyhoo flies. Thanks for your tip – we will tie some up to take next trip just in case. JN (BTW, I am a bit fan of your site)

  2. This is a great pattern and I enjoyed the video. As someone who has fished from the beach near Los Barriles the past two years I want to make two comments about Sardina patterns in general. First, I find it useful to have a few flys tied up to 6 inches long for use when the bait are large. I don’t know if the fish appreciate the longer fly but I feel more confident. And second, while I love using Farrar blend, the wavy nature of the material can trap particles of sand and I have to check my fly and clean it on occasion. Obviously this only happens when beach fishing and when the fly comes in contact with sand. Flys tied with bucktail don’t trap sand particles. I’m going to tie some flys using the new Faux Buck tail for next year. Thanks again for sharing the pattern.


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