Pistol Pete Fly Tying Instructions

Pistol Pete Fly Tying Instructions
Pistol Pete may sound like a character from the old West; however, it is actually the name of a hybrid fly originating in Colorado and taking the fly fishing world by storm. A Pistol Pete fly is a combination of a traditional dry or wet fly combined with a size 1 or 2 propeller blade. Touted as being highly effective on trout, bream, blue gill and both large and small mouth bass, the hybrid is also proving to be effective on many inshore saltwater species. As the popularity grows, many anglers are looking to tie their own variations.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Size 1 or 2 propeller blade
  • Size 6 or larger long shank fly hook
  • Bead
  • Fly tying vise
  • Quick set glue
  • Small-diameter wire or heavy thread
  • Fly-tying thread
  • Fly material (feathers, foam, animal hairs)
Step 1
Slide the propeller blade on the long shank hook followed by a bead of your choice. A size 6 or larger long shank fly hook is necessary to allow enough room for the propeller blade and bead along with the dry or wet fly body. Typically, Pistol Pete lures are designed for larger fish, and using small hooks is not practical with a propeller blade. Slide the prop and bead down to the eye of the hook.
Step 2
Place the hook with the bead and propeller in the jaws of the fly-tying vise. The hook should be positioned so that its bend is in the jaws of the vise with the barb on the bottom. Apply a small drop of quick set glue just behind the bead on the bend side to hold the bead securely in place.
Step 3
Wrap several turns of small-diameter fly-tying wire or heavy thread to the shank of the hook for weight. Pistol Pete flies can be fished at any level in a river, stream, lake, pond or saltwater. Weighting the fly at this point can help provide weight for a faster sink rate when fishing and can also reduce the need for additional weight on the line or tippet.
Step 4
Wrap fly-tying thread around the shank of the hook. Begin just behind the bead and work your way down to just above the bend of the hook and back up to the bead. Repeat the wrapping again and make several turns with the thread next to the bead to help build a transition between the fly and bead.
Step 5
Tie a wet or dry fly of your choice on the shank of the hook. The fly you tie is based on personal preference; however, patterns including Woolly Buggers, streamers and even marabou feather jig patterns have proved to work well with the Pistol Pete design. Consider using bright red or orange thread to offset feathers, foam or animal hairs in colors such as white, green, black, purple or blue.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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