Cotton Candy Flesh Fly (Cone head)

Salmon flesh flies are great flies for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and char. Even salmon will hit a flesh fly.

There should be a variety of flesh flies in every serious salmon fly fisherman’s fly box.

There are now flesh two-tone rabbit strips in an exciting array of colours. Cotton candy is one of these colours.

Cone heads should get your fly down to the bottom easily.

Also, tie some of these without the cone heads; you may find some places where you don’t want your fly on the bottom.

The hardest part of making these flies is to make them durable; secure the strip after two turns and force the head into the cone head.


Hook: Mustad 9672, Size 2 (any similar streamer hook)

Thread: Black UNI-thread 6/0

Tail: Straight-cut cotton candy rabbit strip (as long as the hook), tied over 10 -12 pearl Krystal Flash strands

Rib: None

Body: Cross-cut cotton candy rabbit strip wrapped over the body

Wing: None

Hackle: None

Collar: Black cone head

Head: Clear cement


Step 1

Slip the cone head over the barb of the hook to just behind the eye.

Make a good base by wrapping thread over the hook shank and tie in the pearl Krystal Flash strands.

Prepare the straight-cut rabbit strip by trimming the strip to a point.

By placing the hook head slanting downward, the cone head should not interfere with your tying.

Step 2

Tie in the straight-cut rabbit strip by the point and cut this strip leaving a length equal to the hook for the tail.

Trim the Krystal Flash strands under the tail to slightly longer than this strip.

Prepare the cross-cut rabbit strip by trimming the strip to a point.

Step 3

Tie in this cross-cut strip on the hook shank opposite to you.

Do not tie this strip in on top.

Step 4

Start wrapping this strip forward around the shank (skin side to the shank) making sure the rabbit fur is slanted backwards.

Don’t overlap the skin.

Separate the fur and make two to three wraps of thread to secure the strip.

Rabbit skin can be stretched and the trick is to pull just hard enough without tearing.

If the skin is thin or dry, you may have to make only one skip wrap before securing the strip and reduce the pressure on your pulling.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4, making two wraps of strips and securing with thread wraps.

Go as close as possible to the cone head and secure with half hitches or a whip finisher.

Applying the cement or lacquer is different on this fly. Smooth all the hair backwards and hold the fly cone head downwards and apply a liberal amount of cement to the thread just behind the cone head.

Hold the cone head downward for a few seconds.

Once the cement is absorbed into the thread head, firmly grasp the body above the cone head and push it into the cone head.

Hang the fly cone head down to dry.

Once you understand how to add the cement and push the body into the cone head, these flies are very easy to tie.

Bruce Ross has been hooked on fly fishing and tying his own flies since the early 1970s and has fished throughout Canada and the US. Contact him at [email protected]


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