hollow fleye fly tying

Large Fleyes for Large Fish!

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I was introduced to Bob Popovics’ Hollow Fleye by a good friend Collin. We showed up to target stripers on the fly and he brought along his 10w rigged with some gigantic 10″+ beautiful flies in bunker color schemes. Little did we know how much interest these fleyes would garner from the striper bass that day! Collin was hooked up almost constantly, and when not hooked up he had follows back to the boat and even hits next to the boat. I knew then I had to tie some of these for future trips!

I setup my vice and started looking through my available materials. Low and behold, I didn’t have any hackle that would be nearly long enough to get the size I was looking for. No problem, quick order to the awesome guys over at Bear’s Den  and I was back in business a day later. While I was at it, I also order Bob Popovics new book as well that contains the recipe and detailed instructions for the Hollow Fleye. What a great book, and lots of new recipes to try now.


I have tied countless numbers of flies in my time, but the Popovics Hollow Fleye is not an easy fly to tie. It’s not the worst, but it takes a couple techniques that I apparently don’t practice enough. Time to change that. Laid in and started tying according to his directions, with some alterations…


Doesn’t look all that great just yet, but it’s still not done. Here you can see the long hackles out the tail of the fly along with three different clumps of bucktail to form the body. A couple tab eyes and my favorite red nose to finish it off. The next step is to wet it, let it settle, and once dry it should hold it’s shape.


Not too bad for a first time Hollow Fleye. I’ll put it to the test soon to see if the fish thing so too. Once I got settled in I decided to do a couple more Hollow Fleyes and one of my favorite all white deceivers.


Reading through the book further, I came across another section where Dave Skok, one of my all time favorite fly tyers, talked about an adaptation he did to the Hollow Fleye that used hackle for the tails. That’s exactly what these are. Hopefully they’ll catch fish just as well as Dave’s flies do, but that’s probably a pipe dream for me at this point.

Tight Lines.

-Captain Nick

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