The Crazy Charlie is the most popular fly for bonefish throughout the world. It was developed by Bob Nauheim in an effort to make a fly that wouldn’t snag the bottom when retrieved. The bead chain eyes tied on top of the hook make the fly ride inverted to this end.
Charlies can be tied in any color under the sun and some of the most popular are tan, white, pink, chartreuse and brown. This is really more of a style of fly than a particular pattern and materials can be mixed and matched according to the anglers needs.
Hook: TMC 811S #2-8
Thread: 3/0 or UNI 6/0 to match body color
Eyes: Stainless steel or brass bead chain eyes, sized to hook
Overbody: Clear D-Rib, sized to hook
Underbody: Krystal Flash
Wing Flash: Krystal Flash
Wing: Calf Tail
Start the thread and build a thread base on the front half of the shank.
Figure eight a pair of bead chain eyes to the top of the shank about two or three eye lengths back from the eye.
Straighten the eyes on the shank so they are level then build a thread base back to the bend.
Return the thread to the back of the eyes and tie in a six-inch long piece of V-Rib with the flat side up.
Continue wrapping the thread back over the V-Rib to the bend of the hook.
Return the thread to the eyes and tie in six strands of krystal flash.
Wrap over the krystal flash all the way to the bend.
Return the thread to the front of the eyes and start wrapping the krystal flash forward to the eyes.
Wrap the krystal flash in a figure eight around the eyes and tie it off in front of them.
Wrap the V-Rib forward with the round side up over the krystal flash underbody up to the eyes and figure eight it through the eyes as well.
Invert the hook in the vise.
Tie in two strands of krystal at the rear edge of the hook eye and double them over.
Wrap over the krystal flash so it lies back over the body.
Cut and clean but DO NOT stack a clump of calf tail hair. Measure the tips to just past the bend of the hook.
Tie in the calf tail behind the eye with several tight turns of thread.
Clip the butt ends as close to the shank and wrap a smooth thread head over the stubs.
Apply a coat of head cement to the thread head. After the cement has dried apply another coat of Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails to seal the head.