If you like fishing Half-and-Half’s or ever wished for a heavier Deceiver, then the Fish-Skull® Deceiver now gives you another option.

The Fish-Skull® compliments the general baitfish profile, simple design, and effective action of the classic Deceiver design to produce a wonderful fly to fish. Designed by Martin Bawden, this fly is essentially a weighted Lefty’s Deceiver.  The basic tying method for this great, time tested fly pattern remains the same with the only exception being that the traditional thread head and painted/stick-on eyes are replaced by the Fish-Skull™.


Fish-Skull Deceivers

Fish-Skull Deceivers.

Tie it in all the traditional color variations. In this example, we tie in the popular white and chartreuse baifish colors.


Hook                           Standard or slightly longer shank saltwater hooks (#2 to #4/0)

Fish-Skull™                  Medium or Large, Golden Chartreuse

Thread                         Mono

Tail                              White saddle hackles

Flash                            Flashabou Pearl (or your favorite flash material)

Collar                           White and chartreuse bucktail

Topping                       Olive DNA Holo Fusion fiber

Throat                          Red craft fur

Step 1:  Put the hook in the vise.

Put the hook in the vise

Put the hook in the vise.

Step 2:  Prepare 6-8 saddle hackles, 3-4 for each wing. Tie in the wings at the bend with the dull sides facing inward.

Step 2

Tie in the saddle hackles.

Step 3:  Tie in several strands of flash on each side of the tail. Wrap the excess flash around the butts of the hackle to form a pearl under-body. Tie off the flash.

Step 3

Tie in the flash.


Wrap the excess flash around the hackle butts to form a shiny under-body.

Step 4:  Tie in a small bunch of bucktail low on each side of the hook

Step 4

Step 4.


Top view.

Step 5:  Tie in a 3rd, longer bunch of bucktail on top of the hook shank.

Step 5

Step 5.


Step 5 complete.

Step 6:  Tie in the darker topping. I am using some strands of Olive DNA Holo Fusion fiber instead of the traditional peacock herl

Step 6

Step 6.

Step 7:  Turn the fly upside down and tie in a red “throat”. At first glance the amount I am using may seem excessive, however, most of the throat will be covered over by the Fish-Skull®is fitted leaving just enough red material protruding realistically out of the gill plate area.

Step 7

Tying the ‘throat.”

Step 8:  Attach the Fish-Skull™.

Turn the fly over, wrap a few turns to form a thread-head, tie off and cut your thread. Apply a coating of super glue to the top, bottom and sides of the thread-head. Fit the Fish-Skull® over the eye of the hook and position in place.

Re-attach your tying thread in front of the Fish-Skull® and tie a small “thread dam” to secure the head firmly in place.


Step 8.


Tie a “thread dam” between the Fish-Skull and the eye of the hook.

Step 9:  Apply a small spot of super glue on the middle of each eye socket and stick on the 3D Fish Eyes.

Step 9

Step 9.


The finished fly.

Now go and catch a big fish!

All-White Fish-Skull Deceiver

“All-White Fish-Skull® Deceiver.”