Dan’s Green Pacu Streamer is an extremely simple fly to tie, which is perfect because pacu, like piranha, chew flies up flies. The Pacu Streamer is, essentially, an oversized, mostly synthetic Woolly Bugger I tied while prepping for my first jungle fishing assignment in Guyana (Mano A Mano P2). It was meant to catch peacock bass and other toothy predators. And it did. But where it excelled was on pacu—in fact it was the only fly that fooled pacu during the trip.
The Pacu Streamer is best fished using sharp, erratic strips with plenty of pauses in between. I believe the fish are attracted to the fluttering of the green saddle hackle that makes up its tail. When casting to fish that haven’t seen many, if any, flies, the Pacu Streamer would get bit on nearly every cast. Most of the eats were short, and I noticed ends of the saddle hackle shortened each time. Once the tail gets shortened to just over an inch long, the pacu seem to lose interest and it is time to tie on a new one. On our most recent jungle trip, we went through nearly a dozen of these flies in an afternoon. Prior to my next trip I plan to tie up a few with stinger hooks to see if that increases my hookup rate.
Hook: Mustad R73np Streamer Signature Fly Hook, size 4
Eyes: Lead Dumbbell Eyes (size small or medium)
Thread: 6/0 W Uni Thread 136D in black, brown or green
Tail: Green Hackle/Shlappen
Inner Body: Hareline Green UV Polar Chenille
Outer Body: Waspi Green Woolly Bugger Chenille
Optional Flash: Green Crystal Flash
Work your thread down to the bend of the hook and tie in 4 to 6 green saddle hackle feathers, Deceiver style (concave sides of the feathers inward). Feel free to use two different shades to give it some contrast. I prefer olive and light green/yellow. At this stage, you can add some green crystal flash to the fly, but this is completely optional. Most of the time I tie it without flash.
STEPS 3 & 4
Tie in Hareline polar chenille and bugger chenille just after the saddle hackle. Then work your bobbin to the dumbbell eyes. Wrap the bugger chenille tightly in the opposite direction of your thread to create the body. Stop right before you reach the dumbbell eyes and lock it in place with a few thread wraps.