Peninsula Fly Fishers

The Baja Alf

The Baja ALF is an ALF pattern that I learned from a group of experienced fly tyers while fishing the East Cape. The pattern works in many saltwater situations and is certainly not restricted to Baja. In my experience it outfishes most flies and is particularly effective on yellowfin tuna, which can be very descriminating. There are 3 important qualities to this fly that make it effective:

  • SIZE. The fly should be tied 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. That's the size of the baitfish and larger flies are definitely less effective.
  • COLOR. The fly should be primarily white with some back coloration. Some flash is good as an attention getter but don't overdo it.
  • EYES. Prominent, reflective eyes are a definite turn on. The takes decrease after the eyes are chewed off.
The fly fishes well in one of two ways, either free sinking on a slack line or stripping line in as fast as humanly possible. Oh yes, it also works well when trolled.

If tuna are in your chum line but you are not certain about their whereabouts it is best to fish the fly in a free sinking manner. If tuna are smashing bait at a distance from the boat and your fly is in the vicinity then strip it rapidly through the area. On the other hand if you are fortunate to have a working school of tuna next to the boat then cast, let sink to a depth of 10 feet, and strip rapidly.

Dorado are more agressive and take a fly more readily. The fly works best for these fish when free sinking. Cast directly at cruising fish in a forceful manner. Try to lead them by 7 to 10 feet. If the fish changes direction or refuses your offer pick the line up quickly and cast again in front of the target. A noisy delivery excites the fish.

HOOK: Tiemco 810S or 811S, size 1.
UNDERBODY: Spirit River's Super Hair - White
OVERBODY: Spirit River's Super Hair - olive
BACK HIGHLIGHTER: Flashabout Krystal Flash - Chartreuse (6 strands, doubled over)
BACK SILLOUETTE: Krystal Flash - Black (3 strands, doubled over)
LATERAL LINE: Pearl Flashabou (3 strands on each side)
EYES: Spirit River's Prism Tape Eyes, Silver 3.5
HEAD: Softex
THREAD: White Monocord

Tie thread to about the middle of shank. Stop before reaching the hook point.


Rotate vise turning fly upside down. Cut a section of super hair that's twice as long as the distance to the bend hook. Tie down hair section at it's middle.


Fold the front section of hairs back and tie down over the rear hairs. Repeat these 2 steps to tie another group of hairs in front of the previous.


Rotate vise turning fly right side up. Starting from the thread position of the underbody build up overbody by adding super hair in small sections from back of hook to front.


Build up back of body by adding in olive super hair, chartreuse flashabou crystal hair, and black crystal hair. Each layer should be tied in front of the previous one. Tie pearl flashabou to the side of the hook at the front and whip finish.


Dip the head of the fly vertically into Softex and allow to dry. Add the eyes after Softex hardens. Dip fly in Softex a second time. Remove Softex from eye of hook while still soft.

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