Designer: Mike Cole
Pattern: Mr. Bodangles
Mike is a fishy dude. He got his start in fly fishing over 25 years ago, and started tying flies when he was in his teens. Today his fly patterns account for a huge percentage of the salmon our clients hook on a yearly basis. Not only do his patterns work exceptionally well on salmon but steelhead also go crazy for his flies. Mr. Bodangles, the Liquid Wrench, the UV Polar Starlite, and S.T.S Leeches are all with us today thanks to Mike. As a guide in Southeast AK, Bristol Bay, and Chile (Patagonia), Mike was able to test flies and theory daily. Now as a key member of AFFG he gets to spend most of his time fishing local waters with his family.
About Mr. Bodangles
Mr. BoDangles came about in 2008. Brad Elfers asked me to come up with a new silver salmon pattern for the shop. I had just finished guiding in Bristol Bay for the five summers prior to this. Out there we used a lot of marabou jigs and squid jigs (plastic squid skirt on a lead head jig) for silvers. Both were very effective, so I knew I wanted to create a pattern that had jigging action and a lot of movement. It was from this point that I started to play with keel hooks, large eyes and silicone legs. Early versions of Mr. B started to form, but the fly was missing a key element.
About this time we started to realize how effective the Dolly Llama was. When I started to fish the Llama, I noticed it had a great jigging action, but it also had amazing flash. It just lit up underwater. Right away, I knew that was the missing piece. I added saltwater flashabou to my existing pattern and the fly was born. Now I needed to give it a name.
The name came about when I was holding the fly. The legs went from dangling to dancing when I emulated the jigging motion. When I was doing this, I remembered watching a documentary on dancing in the 1920’s & 30’s which had a segment on Bill “Mr. Bojangles” Robinson, and the name just kind of clicked. So, Mr. BoDangles is kind of a homage to him.