By Gerrit Viljoen
Photos by Ben Viljoen Photography
The Largie Toad (“Largie” is short for Largemouth Yellowfish) was created by Gerrit Viljoen, owner of Gerrit Viljoen Fly-fishing Guided Services to target the once elusive Largemouth Yellowfish.
The fly is a weighted pattern that suggests Tadpoles, possibly Crabs, juvenile Catfish or Barbell and Freshwater Mussels. A great fly to use in murky water too!
The original Largie Toad body used two “Crab look a like body cut outs” from fury foam but was later substituted with 1.6mm thick felt. The bodies were originally glued together with Epoxy but this finish had an extremely hard feel to it plus it wasn’t very durable, the bodies moved from their original position.
I was looking at solving this problem and the solution came to me in the form of MC Coetzer who suggested I try Wonda fix. Wonda fix is a product by Pratley that cures to a rubbery finish AND that aids with durability.
For the tail I use black Squirrel or 4mm Zonker, which like the original Tarpon Toad, is tied upside down. For a bit of bling I incorporate two strands of gold Krystal flash on either side of the tail (I tell myself these suggests developing legs) and to finish of the head, I use a very bright hot orange thread. The weedguard is optional but I wouldn’t leave this step out!
Overall the Largie Toad performs so well because it ticks a few very important design boxes.
- Super quick and easy to tie.
- Easy to cast.
- Extremely durable.
- Suggests multiple food sources.
- Catch fish all year round.
- The black version provides best contrast in poor visibility.
- Great pattern in stronger flow where a heavier fly is required.
Material list & tying instructions
Hook: Gamakatsu B10S #4.
Thread: UTC 70 Denier hot orange.
Eye: 4mm Ibalz.
Flash: 2x2 Krystal flash gold.
Tail: Black Squirrel.
Body: 2x Felt cut outs in the form of a Crab/Freshwater Mussel.
Glue for body: Wonda fix.
Weedguard: 57lb Mono.
De-barb hook and insert hook into vice.
Attach your tying thread and tie in the dumbbell eye 3mm from the start of the hook eye. Add glue to secure.
Tie in a 2mm wide Squirrel tail upside down right above the barb. It should measure 4cm long from the barb to the end of the hide but you can cut it shorter later. Do not leave any excess hide past the hook point.
Tie in two strands of flash on either side of the tail measuring 2cm long from the barb backwards. They have to be shorter rather than longer.
Using two felt bodies, (crab/mussel shape) place the first body on the underside right up against the eyes. The felt body has an adhesive side to keep it in place. Now, add some glue over the shank on top of the first body and wait a few seconds for it to set.
Take the second body and place / press it on top of the other one. Remove the fly from vice, place on a flat surface and make sure everything is straight and aligned.
Add your tying thread again in front of the eyes.
With a barb crusher tool flatten the one end of a 3-4cm piece of 57lb monofilament and bend into a 90-degree angle. Tie in the flattened section in front of the eyes with the long side facing down. The natural bend of the mono should face left.
Cut the piece of monofilament shorter so that it extends to the barb of the hook.
With your barb crusher tool flatten the other side of the monofilament and bend it backwards too. This time only bend it back to about 45 degrees. The flattened piece is about 5mm long but use the hook point and barb as a gage if you don’t want to measure.
At this stage the fly is pretty much complete any final alterations should be done now.
You can trim the tail to your desired length; anything from 3cm to 4cm is fine anything longer can become problematic.
As a final step cut a “v” at the end of the hide using scissors for a more streamlined profile.
Leave to dry for an additional 48 hours before fishing the fly. The glue should have turned into a light camel colour when mixed correctly.