Learn how to tie Ray Charles fly pattern including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly tying skills here.

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The Ray Charles fly is an essential pattern for the Bighorn River, other western tailwaters, as well as limestone spring creeks in Pennsylvania. It imitates a small scud or sowbug and is easy to tie up. Another bonus is that it requires only a few key ingredients. To top it off, the Ray Charles fly is easy to fish. Legend has it that even the visually impaired have caught fish with the Ray Charles pattern!

Material List

Step One

Begin the pattern by establishing a thread base from below the hook’s eye to above the bend.

Step Two

Next, clip the tip end off the end of an Ostridge Herl strand, then secure it below the eye with several wraps.

Step Three

Tie on the Ultra Wire over the Ostridge Herl, then cover the material with thread, with the rearward positioned material left exposed.

Step Four

We are now moving on to Pearl Tinsel. Tie two inches of material on the shank and run the thread rearward, keeping the back portion uncovered.

Step Five

Returning to the exposed Ostridge Herl, advance it up the shank with tight, neatly spaced wraps, then secure it below the eye.

Step Six

Pull the tinsel forward, then secure it below the eye to complete the shellback. 

Step Seven

Finish the pattern's ribbing section by advancing the Ultra Wire up the shank with evenly spaced wraps for added durability and segmentation. Be sure to secure the material below the eye.

Step Eight

The Ray Charles fly is ready to hit the water after securing a half-hitch followed by a whip finish.