The Bonefish Scampi is a classic fly that has been around for over two decades, created by Henry Cowen after his visit to Rupert Leadon’s Andros Island Bonefish Club in the mid-1990s. At that time, the most popular bonefish flies were Gotcha, Crazy Charlie, tan Clouser and Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp. However, Cowen realized that there was a need for something different - a fly that had a longer wing and moved more in the water.
Upon returning home to Connecticut, Cowen set out to create a fly that incorporated these features. He found that rabbit was the perfect material to make a fly move and breathe in the water, and he added a polar fiber wing for suppleness and translucency. The resulting fly was a Gotcha on steroids, with the ability to attract even the most finicky bonefish.
The Scampi has since become a staple in bonefish fly fishing throughout the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Los Roques, Seychelles, and the Florida Keys. In 2002, Fly Fisherman Magazine even voted it the best flats fly. It's also been discovered that it can catch carp, redfish, and striped bass that are attracted to crustaceans.
Umpqua Feather Merchants has kept the Bonefish Scampi in its assortment of must-have bonefish flies for over 25 years. It can be tied with different weights to achieve varying sink rates and quietness, making it an essential addition to any fly angler's collection.