Nightmare Needlefish Fly: Catch More, Bigger Barracuda!
Where there’s bonefish there’s barracuda … and when the conditions aren’t ideal for bonefish you better have a rod loaded up with steal leader if you want to wrestle with these toothy critters. Most of the time it’s pretty windy so you’re going to need a little bigger rod than usual to launch this lengthy concoction out there as well! Although you can tie this fly in shorter sizes to make your life easier, I find that the longer it is the better! As for any Cuda lure goes… The key is the speed of the retrieve! Wide open, as fast as you can go! I have caught a few on a rapid single handed strip, but the vast majority of the time I have the rod under my arm and I’m stripping with both hands. This hand over hand method is much faster and is typically what you need to trigger the strike on bigger fish.
Anytime you are heaving around a 2/0 hook in high wind you need to be acutely aware of your surroundings and take extra care…But you add an inverted stinger hook to the mix and your chances of empaling yourself, fishing buddy or guide goes up exponentially. Although this fly looks terrifying with the sinister wide gap hooks, I named this fly the Nightmare Needlefish when I was tying it, not fishing it. After tying thousands of flies a year my habit is to stroke back fibers before applying more materials to the hook. I quickly discovered this propensity after burying the stinger hook in the outside of my left hand every time I tie these things! No matter how careful I am I always seem to find it at least once or twice…. So be careful!