The Gotcha is a hugely popular bonefish fly that was originated in the Bahamas. Jim McVay allegedly tied the first Gotcha with some carpet trimmings from a Nassau taxi cab, and caught a bunch of bonefish on the fly in the following days. As many of you know, I just got back from Andros South Lodge on South Andros Island (duh!) and I tied about 150 bonefish flies in preparation for our trip. Frankly, I hate fishing with “standard” patterns and therefore tied a whole slew of new, shrimpy/crabby looking stuff along with maybe a half dozen Gotchas, just to be safe. I even dressed up the Gotchas with a couple of Sili-legs just to appeal to my “don’t throw the same fly as everyone else philosophy” and as it turns out, it is a good thing I did. Andros bonefish seemed to really like the little added shot of color and movement in this fly. The flies we fished down there were tied with medium sized silver bead chain eyes, although I used my supply up on flies for the trip and had to use lead eyes here on the tutorial…probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to tie a few with lead eyes anyway. So, here’s my version of the ubiquitous Gotcha, in all it’s glory.
Hook: TMC 811S #1/0, 2 and 4
Thread: Gotcha Pink UTC 140 Denier or 6/0 UNI Thread
Eyes: Bead Chain or Plated Lead Eyes
Tail: Flat Pearl Diamond Braid, shredded
Body: Flat Pearl Diamond Braid
Underwing: remaining butts of body braid pulled back and secured
Legs: Hot orange/Pearl Sili-Legs 2 strands, doubled
Wing: Tan Craft Fur or Shrimp Colored (Pale tan-blonde) Polar Fibre
Attach the thread behind the hook eye and form a smooth thread base all the way to the bend and back again to the two thirds-ish point. Tie in a set of bead chain or lead eyes using X-wraps (see the Clouser Minnow tutorial for more details on this step, if needed).
Cut a five inch long piece of Flat Pearl Diamond Braid and tie it in at the center of its length just in front of the eyes.
Pull the front end of the braid back over the top of the hook to double the strand of braid.
Wrap back over the doubled strand of braid to the bend of the hook, keeping a smooth thread base as you go. return the thread to the back edge of the eyes.
Tie in a 10 inch piece of the same Flat pearl Diamond Braid behind the eyes. Wrap back over the braid to the base of the tail, then return the thread to the front of the eyes.
Smear a drop of Zap-A-Gap onto the hook, particularly at the tie down for the eyes. Adding a bit of glue here keeps the eyes from twisting around the shank later, especially when you are trying to twist this big hook out of a rubbery bonefish mouth.
Wrap the long strand of pearl braid forward in slightly overlapping turns up to the eyes.
Figure eight the braid around the eyes, and tie the braid off at the front of the hook, in front of the eyes and just behind the hook eye.
Pull the remaining flash down under the shank and secure it in place directly on the underside of the shank.
Pull the flash from the tail forward over the eye and trim it just in front of the hook eye.
Invert the hook in the vise. Double over two strands of hot tipped Sili-Legs and place them so the tips extend back just beyond the tips of the tail.
Tie the Sili-Legs in just in front of the eyes with several tight turns of thread. Pull on the long ends as you wrap back over the short ends to stretch the legs down tight. Clip the excess Sili-Legs flush.
Cut a clump of Craft Fur or Polar Fibre and remove the extra long and/or extra short fibers. Measure the remaining clump so it is about two shank lengths long and tie it in in front of the lead eyes with several firm wraps of thread.
Clip the butt ends of the wing fiber and build a smooth, but prominent pink thread head. Whip finish and clip the thread.
Clip the legs so their ends reach not-quite-to the end of the wing. Add a coat of Gloss Coat to the thread head.