Fly Tying Corner
Crystal Beach Persuasion
Sunday - May 1, 2016
The name Crystal Beach Persuasion was born out of the necessity of tying more of this pattern when our trip to Christmas Island was unexpectedly extended and we ran out of this fly. Our weeklong trip had been a fabulous experience and the fishing had been red hot for most of the week. We celebrated the first final night of our trip with a roasted pig, lobster, entertainment and beverages right on the beach of the Crystal Beach Lodge. That night we went to bed with smiles on our faces and dreams of the many bonefish and trevally to hand during the week.
The 4:00 AM wakeup call was more than a little early, and after gulping coffee, we packed up and headed to Cassidy International Airport for our trip back to the mainland. When we arrived it was still dark. Our driver had a few words with airport personnel, returned to the truck and announced to our group, “Plane No Come.” There is only one flight a week into and out of Christmas Island and this announcement had us confused and uncertain. No one seemed to have any idea when the plane might come, yet took it in stride as things on island time always move at a very casual pace.
As we would learn a couple days later, a cyclone in Fiji, 2000 miles away, had cancelled our flight, and for the next five days we were left waiting for the trip home. Communications are not quite like in the US and we were not able to look at a smart phone for an update on the flight. The nearest communications was in a small internet café that was built out of shipping containers a few miles away.
At $1.00/hour, the PC’s could occasionally connect with the internet so we could access email. I think they may have been running on windows 2.1, or something like that. Life on Christmas Island is not blessed with all the modern conveniences we’re used to, thank goodness! It would be several days before we learned of our rescue flight. But in the meantime, we were left with two choices: sit on the beach and drink beer, or keep fishing! What a conundrum. We chose both!
The first week of fishing had totally exhausted this pattern in my fly box. Fortunately, I had thrown in rudimentary fly tying supplies at the last minute and now they were needed. I got busy tying that first evening of our extended trip. Jack, one of the fellows on the trip, suggested naming the fly the Crystal Beach Persuasion, not to be confused with that song of a similar name. Given these flies were being tied right on Crystal Beach and had persuaded numerous bonefish and trevally to bite this trip, the name stuck.
The Crystal Beach Persuasion is designed following many of the concepts from the original Gotcha pattern. I adapted it to use UV Crystal Flash in the tail and added the Grizzly Micro Silicon legs. The original Gotcha pattern is already a legendary pattern. With these modifications, the Crystal Beach Persuasion worked especially well for Christmas Island’s bonefish and other species. Throughout the trip, it was responsible for bonefish, several species of trevally, ladyfish, triggerfish and it was definitely the hot fly of the week for me. Christmas Island is a “bucket list” trip, and I definitely recommend you put it up high on your list.
Crystal Beach Persuasion Pattern Recipe:
- Hook: Mustad 3908c or Tiemco 811S
- Thread: Orange 70 Denier
- Eyes: Bead Chain Brass or Brass 3/32 Hourglass
- Tail: UV Tan Krystal Flash
- Legs: Micro Grizzly Silicon Legs
- Abdomen: Pearlescent Polar Flash
- Wing: Pearlescent Polar Flash and Tan Craft Fur
This is an effective pattern for bonefish and other flats species, and if you go to Christmas Island, you’ll definitely want to take a few of these along. And maybe a few extras just in case you are stranded fishing on some unplanned days! If you have questions or would like additional information about this pattern, please don’t hesitate to email me. Or if you have suggestions on future patterns to feature in this column, I welcome your input. I can be reached at Philfischer@sbcglobal.net.