Enrico Puglisi's brilliant Peanut Butter fly
Tying this great streamer isn’t hard, but you need to know the trick
The Peanut Butter is a truly great fly—a modern classic. Yet few Canadian anglers know about it, because the PB is a saltwater pattern. But take it from me, this fly is among the most lethal patterns I’ve ever used in freshwater lakes.
Despite its unorthodox appearance, the PB is not difficult to tie. However, creating the body requires a few unconventional tricks invented by the fly’s originator, Enrico Puglisi. At first, the body fibres are tricky to work with, but once you get the hang of tying them in, and trimming them to shape, Peanut Butters are a breeze to tie. The method is used to tie a whole range of patterns, generically called “Puglisi” or “EP” flies.
I tie PBs in many colours beyond the original, including chartreuse/white, red/white, all-white and yellow perch (pictured at bottom of page). I also add more or less flash material for targeting different species and fishing in water of varying clarity.
For more on the Peanut Butter, including why, how and where to fish it, look for my "Saltwater secret" column in Outdoor Canada magazine's 2018 Ice-Fishing Special issue, or check out the links below.
- Hook: Short-shanked saltwater (such as Gamakatsu SC15) sizes 4-3/0; for freshwater, any short, sturdy wide-gapped hook
- Thread: Clear monofilament 6/0 (may sub standard 6/0 thread)
- Tail & body accents: Red EP Sparkle Fibers (or other fine flash material)
- Body: Layered black and purple EP Fibers*
- Eyes: large 3-D eyes (stemmed are preferrd, but any will work)
Some good tying videos are collected below. Though for the bookishly inclined, I heartily recommend The Orvis Guide to the Essential American Flies, by Tom Rosenbauer. It offers excellent step-by-step instructions for tying the original Peanut Butter, along with the lore behind it.
*NOTE: for tying the Peanut Butter’s body, you have to use EP Original Fibers, EP 3-D Fibers or EP 3-D Minnow Fibers. In this case, white-label substitutes just won’t do. This material (below) is packaged exclusively by none other than the fly’s inventor, Enrico Puglisi, and are available at fly shops, as well as from Puglisi himself at www.epflies.com.
Videos: Tying the Peanut Butter and other EP baitfish flies
Scott Gardner is Outdoor Canada’s associate editor and fly-fishing columnist. In the last 18 months, he’s caught 12 species of fresh- and saltwater fish on Peanut Butter flies.