DSM Bunny Fly



A few seasons back when I was putting together a manual for the kid’s fly tying course that we did that year, Rick Sharp of Tight Lines Shore Guiding Service submitted this variation of his of the Bunny Fly to be included in it. Many of you are probably familiar with the Bonito Bunny, a fly constructed entirely with rabbit strips both cross-cut for the head and straight cut for the tail. In his variation Rick substituted ostrich herl for the rabbit strip tail and added a topping of craft fur to achieve a dark over light color scheme. In addition he added a throat of red SLF fibers to represent gills. What he got was a realistic baitfish imitation with incredible action built in to the materials.

I have fished with this fly and can attest to its life-like movement in the water. In fact if you look up the word seductive in the dictionary you will see a picture of this fly. There is almost no wrong way to fish it. Just letting it hang in the current will produce strikes more often than not. It is very simple and quick to tie and can be used to imitate a variety of baitfish by varying the colors of the materials. The fly pictured here is all white with an olive topping. A lateral line of silver flashabou or Krystal Flash could be added to suggest a silver side. All chartreuse or chartreuse and yellow are very effective, especially early in the season. Remember to keep the color scheme dark over light. The following materials and instructions are edited from Rick’s original instructions.


Tiemco 800S, Eagle Claw 254SS, or equiv #1 or 1/0


Danville clear fine mono thread


10-12 strands of ostrich herl over 4 strands of Krystal Flash (I like to distribute some Angel Hair within the tail for some subtle flash).


Cross-cut rabbit strip


Craft fur (or fly fur) color to be darker than cross-cut rabbit strip


3mm eyes, plastic or prismatic mylar


Red SLF fibers by Umpqua (red Krystal Flash or Flashabou could be substituted)

Step 1

Attach the thread behind the hook eye and wind rearward the hook bend and cement the wraps. The thread should be hanging approx one sixteenth of an inch behind the hook point. Attach four strands of Krystal Flash at this point. Leave long and trim later.

Step 2

Attach about 10 strands of ostrich herl at the same point as the Krystal Flash and cement the wraps. The herl should be between one and on half to two inches in length. If you must cut the herl, cut the butt end leaving the tips intact.

Step 3

Tie in a 3” length of cross-cut rabbit strip on the near side of the hook at the same point as the ostrich herl was attached. (With the hide facing up and the hair pointing towards the rear of the fly). It helps to cut the hide to a point where it is to be tied on. Advance the thread to the eye and cement the wraps.

Step 4

Spiral wrap (palmer) the rabbit strip forward to the eye stroking the fur rearward as you go. Tie off behind the eye taking care to leave enough room to form a neat head. Trim the excess and cement the wraps.

Step 5

Cut a bunch of craft fur that is about one quarter inch at the base. Attach it by the butts on top of the hook shank behind the hook eye so that it extends rearward over the fly.

Step 6

Attach about 6-8 strands of Krystal Flash over the craft fur and stagger cut them so they aren’t all the same length.

Step 7

Attach a bunch of florescent red SLF fibers under the hook shank as a throat to represent gills. The fibers should be about one quarter inch in length. Form a neat head, whip finish and cement the wraps.

Step 8

Cement a 3mm eye on each side of the head with goop or a similar adhesive.