Tying the Chewbacca

The Chewbacca

What's the Story?
The Chewbacca is a knock-off of Pinczkowski’s Bad Hair Day tied on a jig hook. It is easy to cast and lands lightly, but has an outsized profile. The craft fur, which makes up the bulk of the fly, moves very well with minimal fly motion. Because the fly rides hook point up and the body acts as a weed guard, the Chewbacca is relatively weedless.

What's it Good For?
In saltwater, the Chewbacca is an excellent choice for working mangrove edges, oyster bars, docks and other structure. It also works well for sight fishing redfish, speckled trout, snook and small tarpon. In freshwater the fly catches largemouth bass and other predators.

How to Fish It:
The fly can be fished effectively at any speed but slower, shorter strips take advantage of its excellent movement in the water. The bead provides just enough weight to allow to fly to dive slowly. A pause between strips will let the fly nose down before rising back up with the next strip. If pulled steadily through structure and vegetation, the fly usually slides through without hanging up.

Tying Options
Tie in different sizes and colors to match the available forage species. Mixing multiple bucktail and craft fur colors and using different colors of dubbing on the hook shank will allow you to mimic many different baitfish. Use larger beads and/or go with tungsten beads to increase the sink rate. If you're fishing for powerful fish or tying in smaller sizes, use the Ahrex TP650 hook listed in the recipe over the Mustad 91768BLN. If you'll be fishing for species with sharp teeth or abrasive mouths, use stainless dubbing brush wire instead of thread when dubbing the body. Or just substitute Estaz Petite for the dubbing.

Available on our Website:
The materials needed to tie this fly are all available on our website. Click the links in the materials list below to purchase materials.

Skill Level: Itermediate

Materials List:
Recommended Specialty Tools:

Tying Steps

  1. Slide a bead onto the hook, with the small opening towards the eye of the hook.
  2. Put the hook in your vise, push the bead to the eye of the hook, and start the thread behind the bead. Work the thread down the shank to just around the bend.
  3. Cut off a small clump of craft fur, about half the thickness of a pencil. Clean out the underfur and place it in a container. Set the craft fur clump aside when you’re done then repeat the process with another clump about one and a half times as thick as the first.
  4. Mix the craft fur underfur that you pulled out and put in the container with some Ice Dubbing, adjusting the proportions until you like the result.
  5. Form a loop with your thread (or dubbing wire). Wrap first around the hook to anchor the loop. Then around both legs of the loop to make sure they are together. Advance the thread up to about a bead diameter behind the forward bend of the hook and tie a half hitch.
  6. Use the craft fur and sparkle dubbing mixture to create a dubbing rope. Wrap the dubbing rope up the body in close wraps. It helps to pull the material back as you go to keep from trapping it under later wraps. When you reach where the thread is tied off behind the bead, tie the brush off and trim the end. You can recycle any leftover dubbing for a later fly.
  7. If you'd prefer a simpler option that also works well, skip steps 4, 5 and 6 and wrap the body with Estaz Petite instead of dubbing.
  8. Tie a whip finish and add a drop of head cement.
  9. Push the bead back into place, bring the thread around the bead and start the thread again in front of the bead. Wrap in front of the bead to hold it in place. Then tie a half hitch.
  10. Tie in a clump of bucktail in on the point side of the hook right in front of the bead. The bucktail should extend about twice the length of the hook past the tie-in point.
  11. Post the bucktail wing to keep the fibers together and force them to stand up at an angle. The bucktail will help the fly ride hook point up and maintain the overall shape of the fly, and also acts as a weedguard.
  12. Tie the smaller clump of craft fur in just in front of the bucktail with the butts facing back and the tips extending past the hook eye. The butts should extend about halfway down the body. Then fold the craft fur back over itself, distributing the tips around the top and sides of the fly. Bring the thread forward and wrap in front of the craft fur to push the fibers back over the top of the fly.
  13. Tie in the second larger clump in front of the first, with the tips facing forward just like the first. This time use your fingers to distribute the material all around the hook. Fold the fibers back, working to keep most of them on the top and sides of the fly. Wrap in front of the fibers to force them back.
  14. Pull the fibers back and out of the way and tie a whip finish. Then pull the fibers back again and add some head cement to the thread head.
  15. Trim off any stray fibers that seem out of place, especially along the belly. This is supposed to be a messy fly. Unless I’ve got a lot of extra material along the belly or the fly feels uneven I don’t usually do any trimming.

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