a picture of a snook fly that works well in the winter

The snog fly is a deadly winter snook fly

The snog fly is a winter snook fly that we use to target finicky snook in colder water. It’s a pattern that fly anglers in our area have been tying for a long time. This winter snook fly pattern is designed to mimic fry or small glass minnows. There are times when snook ignore or refuse to eat traditional size snook flies. It seems to happen most frequently in the winter when snook are cold and their metabolism has slowed down. This small fly can be an effective way to target these wary cold water snook. It’s the perfect size snack for winter snook.

Video is embedded at the bottom of this post. 

The snog fly is mainly used to target finicky snook in the winter. It’s a small fly that snook are not offended by in the winter. While an array of flies will work most times throughout the winter here in the Sarasota, FL area, there are times when snook prefer something small. When snook get cold, their metabolism slows down. It is certainly possible to feed these snook a normal size fly, but we often find it much easier when we use this snook fly. We have seen snook crawl a long way to get a better look at this fly before finally deciding to eat.

The biggest issue you may encounter when using this snook fly is that it is a small fly. That poses two problems. First, it can be difficult at times to get snook to notice the fly. It often takes a precise cast that makes the snook aware of the presence of the fly. Secondly, If you’re sight fishing, it can be difficult to visually pick up the fly, but with a little practice you should be able to see this fly.

a fishing captain ties a fly

A clip from the tying video of Capt Brian describing how a fly angler should fish this winter snook fly

If by chance you are unable to see the fly due to glare on the water, then you will do best by watching the snook’s reaction to the fly. If a previously stationary snook begins crawling towards the skiff, then you can bet that he’s tracking your fly. When this happens, don’t change your retrieve. Continue stripping the fly in as you have been and eventually the snook and fly will converge for the moment of truth. Will the snook eat it, or will he sink back down to the bottom and crawl back to his hiding spot. The retrieve that seems to work best with this fly is short quick strips of 2-3 inches followed by a one second pause. You want to keep this fly very alive while moving it very slowly through the water column. There is no sense in working this fly quickly or erratically. This fly, combined with a slow retrieval, is designed to target cold winter snook.

The snog fly also excels in the dock lights. Snook in the dock lights are obviously drawn to small flies like this when baitfish are scarce. Again, the same retrieve seems to work well on the dock lights. Give these fish a target that they can easily hit while still making the fly look alive. On dock lights, we have had a fair amount of success targeting juvenile and even some larger tarpon with this pattern. If you plan on using this fly to target tarpon, then it would be wise to step up to a hook designed to hook tarpon. Although we have hooked and caught plenty of tarpon on the SC 15, it is a light gauge hook and you may be better served stepping up to the Gamakatsu SL 12S in sizes 4 and 6. If you have any questions about this pattern, feel free to reach out with questions.

Material List:

Hook: Gamakatsu SC15 size 4
Eyes: Small bead chain eyes
Tail: Strung marabou in the color cream
Wing/Body: Small chenille in the Pearl Tan color

Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL