The Guadalupana Fly (Lady of the Guadalupe)

For the last couple of years I have had many requests for that "damn big fly," especially after landing multiple fish while fishing in between fishless anglers. Three sizes are listed, but I tend to use the large one primarily.

Length: small, 1 3/16"; medium, 1 3/4"; large, 2"

Hook: Tiemco 5262 (2x long, 2x strong) in size 10 for small and 6 for medium; Mustad 79580 (4x long) in size 4 for large.

Thread: Black, small, 6/0; medium and large, 3/0.

Bead Head: Brass, 1/8" for small, 5/32" for medium, 3/16" for large.

Tail: Olive Marabou (see overall length above).

Overwrap: Fine copper wire.

Body: 2 strands peacock herl (twisted) for small; 3 strands for medium; 4 strands for large.

Collar: Olive Hackle

  1. Slide bead head in place and tie in marabou at hook bend. Wrap thread over the marabou up to the bead head to build up bulk on the shank.
  2. Tie in length of copper wire at hook bend and pull out of the way. Tie in the strands of peacock herl at hook bend and twist together.
  3. Wrap twisted strands around hook shank up to bead head to form body.
  4. Counter-overwrap the copper wire over the peacock herl up to the bead.
  5. Wrap in the hackle just behind the bead head to form the collar.

I subscribe to the theory of big fly, big fish. While tiny flies work well, this fly is very effective in the pools that are numerous on the Guadalupe River. Use the "San Antonio Swing," which is casting across and letting it swing downstream with no slack in your line. Although this is relatively a big fly, if you do not get any hits, put some split shot 10 to 12 inches above the fly. Use enough shot so you are bumping across the river bottom.

Depending on the pool depth and current speed, I usually add a size BB or two to start. This is a lot of weight to throwóand you will lose fliesóbut it works. Vary the retrieve from short quick strips to letting it dangle out there. Strikes usually come as the fly rises from the bottom at the end of the swing.

Ray Chapa, San Antonio, Texas