Booby Fly


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Heard of this fly? Basically a wooly bugger with foar dumbell eyes. Used as the point fly on a stillwater setup with 1-2 droppers above. Fished with a sinking line, it keeps all the flys at depth rather than sinking. Very popular in Europe and the UK.

I don't tie (I know - shame on me, never took the time, too busy to learn...) and wonder if anyone has seen these for sale anywhere in the states. Search on google only turns up shops in the UK and NZ.

Wasn't really impressed with them. Neither were the fish.

Tied up a few a couple years back. Never had much success. I think that they don't look very bug-like with those wide "eyes" (poor dragon pattern maybe?). I'd prefer a standard wooly bugger pattern for NW fish.
I used to get to England on biz a lot. I'd usually make time to do a bit of fishing while I was there. Mostly in the water supply reservoirs that are heavily planted with rainbows. Nearly all pay to play but at reasonable cost. They have some strange names for their flies over there. Boobies, blobs, crunchers, buzzers, daddies, and a bunch of other weird names. They all caught fish over there but the boobies flopped on this side of the pond.


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How were you guys fishing it? A fellow from Team USA Fly Fishing was tying them at a club meeting the other night and swears by them. His flies were a bit modified from those I've seen on the web from UK fly shops. They look like a large dragon fly / damsel nymph with huge foam eyes. It is really just there to support the end of the 14 foot leader as the point fly in what is called a 'washing line rig' so your 2 droppers above it stay at a contolled depth. He keeps changing sink tip or line weights until he gets dialed into where the fish are then the dropper flys (chironomids for instance) stay at a constant depth.

Here are some articles:

Washing Line Method Video's - enjoy the accent!!:

Damn, not what I expcected from the title.
I's a bit misleading but you have to see the fly, it's appropriately named. Just be careful if you google this fly!!

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
It is all about positioning, floppy is a relative term. I'm gonna google the pattern, but not until the misses is asleep.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Thanks Wolverine. The buyoant fly on a sinking line, just like my thoughts of using one of Leland's poppers on a sinking line to create the image of a struggling baitfish trying to reach the surface when stripped and twitched.

Nothin' saggy 'bout them there boobies. I like them tied as a damselfly nymph, I might whip up one to try just about a particular lake bottom where bigger fish seem to like bigger bugs.
I started with tying an exact pattern that I found online. Same thing as everyone else found. Didn't like the BIG eyes and floated much too high. I took some scissors to the eyes and just kept cutting them down to get the right buoyancy. Love to fish with them now and tie them onto nearly any wet/streamer pattern. Fast sink line, short (3-6') leader, cast out the line into the shore, let line sink to the bottom and start a slow retrieve. the stream swims bobbing up and down slightly with every hand roll retrieve. Plan to experiment much more with them. Never have tried a dropper on it but then again I keep finding myself in BC fishing than down here.
Try a little foam 'egg' on a leech pattern and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

This guy didn't mind them...!


Ed Call

Well-Known Member
I have long pondered the sinking line or sinking tip to submerge a buyoant fly. I'll try an egg sucking leech pattern. Great ideas in this thread, even if the title was misleading and somewhat disappointing, the ideas are great.
I'm from the UK and this is my take on fishing the booby, a godawful name for sure. If it had been developed in the USA a suitable monicker would be the jugsy. The key to fishing them is a sinker and a v.slow/no retrieve. The common approach was to fish them on a HiD sinker (type 6?) and a short leader of ~ 1 foot is the key. If your fly line's on the bottom why have a long leader? Basically the fly's in the path of trout cruising the bottom eating snails/caddis larvae/leeches/dragon or damsel larvae and so see it and hopefully eat it.
Having the fly so near your main line helps hook up, especially when you're not constantly pulling it towards you. A good fly for 10-20 ft deep water on a sunny, windless day and you're tired throwing a fly. A reversed dry fly approach so to speak. A loch I used to fish had a deep flat area with some weeds, the line lies on the top of the rotten weed where most of the big bugs are and hence the fish. Make sure you've got a pair haemostats since often the fish engulf the fly right down their throat.



Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
I first saw them at the Team USA Qualifier in Cody WY. The guys swore by them, most of them were I believe introduced to them during there contests in europe. I said, " No frigg'n way" when I first saw it ! But those guys swore by them, and fished them. I think it would be a good night pattern fished as a dry... But as I recall, they mostly fished them as wets as mentioned above. Fishing dry patterns on a sinking line is certainly nothing new though, try a deerhaired sculpin pattern on a short leader and sinking line on a river or lake, and at the right time, is Da Bomb! Usually anytime you can suspend a fly in the fishes holding zone, you are in for good times.

I have long pondered the sinking line or sinking tip to submerge a buyoant fly. I'll try an egg sucking leech pattern. Great ideas in this thread, even if the title was misleading and somewhat disappointing, the ideas are great.
Hey Mumbles, try it you wont regret it- Tie your esl's with colored deerhair heads so they will float, you can also hide some foam in the body ( Tie it on the shank first) For added boyancy. Iv'e had some really good days fishing streamers this way-

Here's some more hot visuals of the boobs...

Though some sizes and shapes of boobies may differ, they're all good, just some a little better than others ...:thumb: