The Devil’s Daughter – Drew Chicone – saltyflytying.com



Drew Chicone is an author, award-winning outdoor writer and fly designer, photographer and materials expert, with a passion for teaching the art of fly tying.

His fly creations are well known and in high demand among saltwater anglers and guides across the globe.

The Devil’s Daughter is one of my earliest creations, yet it is still one of my favorite patterns for backwater baby tarpon and skittish over-slot snook. It’s a mashup of several old patterns and techniques drawing inspiration from the original muddler pattern, Leiser’s Angus, and Tabory’s snake fly, to name a few. This black and UV reflective pattern silhouettes well in off-color water or low-light conditions, and its spun deer hair head effectively pushes volumes of water. Peacock herls intermingled throughout the pattern are naturally iridescent and glows with an orange-color in cloudy water, working well to call attention to this small yet deadly fly. 

In the spring of the year, as the water begins to warm up, the brackish rivers and creeks begin to fill up with juvenile tarpon and snook, making their way to the ocean to spawn. The increase in rain has a tendency to make the water off-color and cloudy, like chocolate milk. As I paddled down the creek, I could see the little guys rolling in the distance, so I knew that even though the water clarity was terrible, it was full of baby tarpon. I tried all my usual go-to’s, but everything I threw seemed to get the middle fin! These fish were super-educated; everybody and their fat Harry Uncle had found them in the last few weeks, and they had a severe case of lockjaw. After seeing so many different patterns, I’m sure a few of these fish could tie flies by now. 
After experimenting with several different colors, shapes, and sizes, I finally realized that I had nothing that they wanted. I had a few encouraging looks but no takers, and anything with synthetic flash was disregarded immediately. Darker flies seemed to appeal to the little guys, but they just weren’t convinced. I needed to create something that could be fished extremely slowly, move a lot of water, and get their attention.  

Although it looks a little strange in the vise, once in the water, the fly comes alive. The supple feathers are set in motion by the slightest movement, and the buoyancy of the deer hair head causes the fly to suspend just under the surface and nudge water out of its way as it swims along. Incorporating the same iridescent material throughout the body and head of the fly makes it look natural; only it lights up and shines when the light is just right. 


Hook: Gamakatsu SL-12, size 2/0
Thread: Black Danville 210 denier
Tail: Peacock Herl and Black Ostrich Plume
Body: Black Marabou Plumes
Head: Black Deer Body Hair
Misc.: Solarez Thin Hard Formula

For more patterns, check out www.saltyflytying.com