Cyclops (with photos)
Tier: Kirk Dietrich
Mustad 34007 or equiv., #4 – #3/0
“Plus” type thread, or equiv.
1/8” wide lead wire
Kinky or Slinky Fibre
Vernille or Chenille
Estaz, A.k.a. Cactus Chenille
Note: Scroll down for Instructions
C yclops were developed in the winter of 1999 as a solution to a more durable Clouser Minnow. Capt. Mark Brockhoeft of Big Red Guides mentioned to me that he wished his “go to” winter fly, would last for more than a couple dozen fish. Even when superglued, the barbell eyes would start to twist and take the wing around the hook shank with it. Before you say a couple dozen fish is plenty on one fly, you’ve got to realize its common for Capt Mark’s clients to catch 50, 75, and sometimes 150 redfish during the winter.
I tried beads used for bead headed nymphs, lead split shot but wasn’t ever satisfied. It was then I found some split beads that a friend of mine Ted Cabali had given me years prior. He is forever tinkering with different materials (a master at it) and is always eager to share his discoveries with me. I didn’t use them at the time and stashed them for future creative inspiration.
I knew these split beads were the answer but I needed more. A frustrating search finally led to a source so ordered a few bags and began experimenting.
By putting the maximum amount of lead around the hook shank to fill the hollow bead, the fly would get to the winter fish in the shallow lakes and bays very quickly. When the lead was left out, they were light enough to use in the deeper ponds on the early spring fish but heavy enough to get under their nose when they remain hunkered down on the bottom.
With the application of Zap-a-Gap to the underside of the fly, Capt Mark reported that the flies were lasting for 75 fish before being lost to the bottom. Finally, the fly stayed on the end of a client’s line for two consecutive 75 fish trips before he took it off and gave it to the man as a souvenir of a great couple of winter redfish trips .