This little fly was originally designed to target the lesser known and highly predatory bushveld smallscale yellowfish in the rivers flowing north of the Witwatersrand, but has since evolved into a successful pattern for largemouth yellows, smallmouth yellows as well as trout. I have no doubt that it will be deadly with scalies and Clanwilliam yellowfish too. Small stream yellowfish have always captivated me and are my favourite species to target along with the spotted grunter. They are not easy and are extremely technical in a way very different to trout. Trying to catch 30 plus cm largescales in the streams around Johannesburg makes catching Cape streams trout look like stealing candy from a baby… but maybe that’s just a little bias on my side. The smallscale yellowfish is a little bit easier to catch and a whole lot more aggressive, they will happily hit a 3 inch streamer, as long as it is in the strike zone. This was the biggest dilemma, I needed a fly that would get down deep, be cast and be fishable on a euro setup and imitate a fairly large baitfish. The compact sleek design of this fly allows one to do just that. I tie this fly in 4 different colours: olive, tan and brown over white or black over gold.

I have been an avid fly fishermen for the last 7 years and have competed for the last 6, both on a national and international level, I thoroughly enjoy the sport and will take every opportunity to get out on the water. However, I enjoy my time behind the vice just as much and recently started tying flies commercially on a custom order basis. This has only been achievable with the help of Ruben Torres from the Tactical angler as well as Hansie Meyer from Catch Me fishing who are always willing to help me acquire top quality materials. If you would like some inspiration, to acquire a couple flies or are just looking for advice on tying or fishing please have a look at my facebook page ‘Flies from Stellies’ or feel free to pop me a message on messenger. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will find some photos of my flies.


Bead: 4mm slotted (#4-#6) 3,5mm slotted (#8-#10), 3.5mm brass bead for still water trout.

Hook: Any mid length streamer hook will work, I am currently using the gamakatsu B10s for the barbed versions and the knapek nymph or Dohiku blob for the barbless versions. (This fly is competition legal)

Thread: Danville’s 70 denier in a dull colour

Underbody weight: lead wire in 0.5-0.7mm

Belly: Ice dubbing, I really like the Hends spectra dubbing.

under belly: Hends angel hair

tail and back: 4mm zonker, the hends one is my personal preference on this too, highest density and fiber length per leather diameter I have yet to find.

hackle: English partridge or any similar feather, I use black hen saddle on the black variation.

Dorsal fin/head: Fine deer hair, I really like the Italian stuff if you can get your hands on it.

Eyes 3-4mm mm 3D eyes

Head coat: Clear epoxy

Gills (optional): red marabou

Tying instructions:

  1. Secure the bead with the slot facing the hookpoint.
  2. Stack a triangle consisting of 3 pieces of lead wire on the top side of the hook, first two should be ½ shank length and the top piece 1/3 shank length.
  3. Take the thread to the bend then dub over the body until 2 mm from the bead.
  4. Cut a piece of rabbit strip that has leather 1.5-2 times the shank length then cut the tip into an arrow.
  5. 5. Stick the hook through the bottom of the rabbit strip ensuring that there is enough room too tie in the rabbit in front of the dobbing.
  6. Secure the zonker with half a dozen tight wraps in front of the ice dubbing.
  7. Tie in a stack of angel hair with fibers protruding from both sides.
  8. Fold the forward facing fibers backwards then break them off at the same point that the rabbit zonker ends.
  9. Tie in the soft hackle from the tip while palmering the fibers backwards, do 1 or 2 wraps.
  10. Stack a clump of deer hair tips down, a ¼ to 1/2 pencil diameter stack will work.
  11. Tie in the deer hair, with the tips just touching the hook tip, pinching the hair while tying it in will ensure the bunch doesn’t spin.
  12. Whip finish in front of the deer hair.
  13. Using a little super glue stick on the eyes, with the fronts just touching the bead
  14. Mix up some epoxy, then start building up a head, ensuring the fill the gap on the bottom of the fly between the eyes. Cover the eyes in a thin layer too increase durability.
  15. Hang the fly up too dry, head facing down.

Below are some photos of the steps in the tying sequence.
















Some examples of my ‘Flies from Stellies’ are shown below:







Luke with a smallscale

Return to News