Jr. is always innovating the flies he ties. He seems to forever be in search of tying flies better or being able to fish them in various conditions. The Predator fly that he ties in this video is a variation of the Predator that was created by Skip Morris. There are a couple of differences in Jr.'s version. The most prominent are the eyes that he uses. Normal plastic dumbbell eyes tend to wrap around the hook if tied in too tight. Also, the stem in between the eyes can break when fishing because it is very thin.
Not long ago, Jr. was in the electrical store and ran across some Beadle Wrap zip ties by Gardner Bender. Because half his brain is always thinking about fishing and fly tying he immediately thought of using the zip tie sections as eyes in some flies. Once he did get to the vise he found them very easy to cut and tie onto the hook. The major advantage to using these as eyes for your flies instead of the common plastic eyes is that the stem between the eyes is very thick and will not bend when putting tight wraps on it. Plus the eyes have a large wide profile, similar to lead dumbbell eyes but without the weight. So you can have a bug with very prominent eyes but still easy to cast. In the case of the Predator these eyes will not cause the fly to sink but rather still ride high in the water.
The Predator is a fantastic bluegill fly. It is light and easy to cast. It can be tied quickly and in a wide range of colors and sizes. When fishing this fly you can give it a twitch or two to disturb the water but even if you simply let it sit on the surface the rubber legs are doing their work. With warmer weather coming and panfish getting more and more active, now is the time to tie some up and get ready to catch some bluegill. After all, it is the "Year of The Bluegill" and we all must participate.