This rendition of the Flex Candy is Martha Vineyard tyer Ben Scott’s take on two classic Bob Pop patterns. The Flex Candy is a versatile pattern anywhere predatory fish are gorging on smaller baitfish like sand eels and silversides. Remember, the Flex Candy is a very customizable fly, so don’t be afraid to experiment or use what material you have on hand. For more information, check out Bob Popovic's book, Fleye Design.
Hook: Size 4 to Size 1, Ahrex SA280 Minnow, Tiemco 600SP, or Gamakatsu SL12
Thread: Clear Mono CORE White Sheep Fleece, Sculpin Wool, Icelandic Sheep, Craft Fur, or similar fluffy material.
Underwing: White or lighter color EP Fibers, EP Sculpt-a-Fly Fibers, EP Sparkle, Angel Hair, SF Blend
Overwing: Darker contrast color EP Fibers, EP Sculpt-a-Fly Fibers, EP Sparkle, Angel Hair, SF Blend
Lateral Line: Lateral Scale, Flashabou, or preferred flash.
Throat: Pink Senyo Laser Dubbing or other dubbing.
Eyes: Stick on prismatic eyes sized to fit fly. UV/GLUE Solarez Flex, Thin and Bone-Dry UV Glue. Zap-a-Gap or CA Glue for locking material.
Tools: Scissors, Tapering Scissors, Bodkin, UV Light & CA Glue
Start the pattern by wrapping the thread back about 1/3 of the way down the shank from the eye to establish the base.
Prepare the Flex Candy’s body by stripping out any short, extra long, or unruly fibers from a section of sheep fleece and work a bit of taper into the rear-facing part of the clump. Remember, the clump length will be shorter than the finished fly.
Attach the clump of white fleece to the hook shank with a few light wraps of thread. The fibers should start below the eye and run 1/3 down the shank. Distribute the fleece 360 degrees around the hook shank, trim the butt-ends off, then secure the fibers.
Moving onto the underwing, EP Fibers mixed with flash work well for this fly. The fibers should be twice as long as the finished fly length—you will taper and trim the body and tail of the pattern at the end. Attach the material to the underside of the hook on one of the lower halves of the shank. Fold over the fibers while covering the bottom 180 degrees of the shank with the materials. The underwing material should surround the fleece core and extend past the tips of the fleece core.
Next, secure 3-6 strands of lateral line flash directly on top of the hook shank, flowing over the top of the fleece core. Fold in half and secure with thread.
Repeat the step used for the underwing for the overwing using the darker or contrasting material. Apply the darker EP Fibers to the top 180 degrees of the hook shank.
Attach a small clump of throat-colored Senyo Dubbing to the underside of the hook by tying it in the middle of the fibers, then fold back the dubbing and secure with a few final wraps right by the hook eye and complete a whip finish. Cut the thread and apply a tiny drop of CA glue to the thread.
Taper the rear of the fly to the bait shape you are looking to match using tapering scissors.
Apply a pea-sized about of Flex UV to your left index finger and carefully work it in at the head, then taper off near the bend. Set the dubbing head/throat and materials into shape.
Apply a drop of UV or CA glue to the back of the stick on the eyes and apply right behind the hook eye.
The Flex Candy is ready to crush blitzing striped bass after coating the eyes and head with the UV Thin resin and then hitting the adhesive with the light.