Fly of the Month: Kwan Fly

Fly of the Month: Kwan Fly

Florida angler Patrick Dorsy is credited with creating the unusual Kwan Fly. Dorsy's Kwan Fly was originally tied to imitate the small bottom-dwelling baitfish and crustaceans targeted by bonefish on the Florida flats. It combines the features of two very effective flats patterns- Del Brown's Merkin and Tim Borski's Shrimp. The Kwan Fly seems to be a universally effective pattern, catching nearly all types of flats species.

It will flutter like a fleeing crustacean or minnow when retrieved quickly but will also dive to the bottom just like a crab when the retrieve is stalled.

One of the tricks to tying the Kwan fly is learning how to position and secure strips of yarn across the hookshank using criss-cross thread wraps. It is not a difficult technique to master, but it is somewhat unconventional and takes a bit of practice.

Kwan Flies ride with the hook oriented in the upright position and a mono loop tied above the tail prevents it from fouling on the hook shank. A double mono weed guard tied ahead of the eyes provides additional protection against snags. Equipped with lead eyes, a Kwan fly will sink quickly and have a lot of vertical action. It is a good combination for hard sand or smooth-bottomed flats and will leave a trail of sand puffs that attract the attention of predators. Kwan flies tied with bead chain eyes are somewhat lighter, and can be fished over more perilous bottoms or grass flats. Kwan flies can be tied in a variety of color combinations, but the most popular incorporate tans, browns, and chartreuse. Don't be fooled by its whacky appearance- the Kwan Fly looks great in the water and is a good pattern to cast when redfish are targeting crabs on the flats.


Hook- Mustad 34007 or equivalent #1 to #4
Thread- Monocord colored to match body or clear nylon mono
Tail- Craft fur
Flash- Polar flash or Krystal Flash
Body- Aunt Lydia's rug yarn
Eyes- Lead barbell or bead chain
Loop tail guard- 30 lb mono
Weed guard- 20 lb mono