The Miraculous Sand Lance

A new striped-bass pattern that brought in an unbelievable catch—a found fly line and two striped bass!

The Miraculous Sand Lance

In the April 2009 issue of Fly Rod & Reel, author Dick Talleur shared his incredible story of hooking some apparently discarded monofilament, only to find a striped bass on the end. The story continues: a fly line was tangled in the monofilament, and a striper was still hooked on that line, too! Talleur duplicated the fly that caught the wayward striped bass, and named it the Miraculous Sand Lance. (He kept the fly line, too, a Teeny 300-grain sinking head). Here's how to tie the pattern:

Hook: Regular shank saltwater; here, the Daiichi model X452, size 1/0.
Thread: Olive Uni-Stretch.
Wing (actually the body): Pale greenish olive feathers; two pair, tied cupped-sides-inward.
Belly: White hair, bucktail or synthetic, about 2/3 the length of the feathers.
Top Layers: Golden olive hairs, topped by medium green, tied fairly short.
Highlight: Pearl or pearl green Angel Hair or similar, flanking each side.
Eyes: Flat stick-ons, secured with Goop, Epoxy, or whatever works for you.
Notes: A bobbin with a perfectly smooth tube mouth is necessary for applying Uni-Stretch. I particularly favor the Griffin Supreme, shown here. While I like Angel Hair for this particular application, if you happen to have a similar synthetic material, feel free to substitute. Note that I’ve debarbed the hook. I may have lost a few stripers because of this, but they swam away happy.


Tie on the thread.

Tie in the white bucktail.


Add the hackle wing.


Tie in the clumb of olive bucktail. Begin to form the neat thread head.


Add the green bucktail.


Tie in the flash material.


Invert the fly and finish off tying in the flashy stuff.


Add head cement or epoxy and attach stick-on eyes.


The finished Miraculous Sand Lance!


Dick Talleur is a widely published fly-fishing and fly-tying writer. His latest book is Trout Flies for the 21st Century.