SBS The Bubble Bug

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by GAT, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

    Nov 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Willamette Valley, OR
    This one is a case of mistaken identity.

    Long, long ago I was fishing The Metolius with a friend and we were nymph fishing using the dead-drift dropper system. He was catching whitefish and rainbow one right after the other and I was catching zip.

    Finally, of course, I asked to see what the devil he was using. He showed me the pattern and when I got home I tried to tie the fly from memory. And low and behold, the next time I fished The Met, the pattern worked great.

    A few years later, I found that what I tied was not what he was using in the least. He was really using a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa but the fish had torn it up so much that it didn't look like the original pattern.
    What I tied was not what he was using. It didn't matter. The little guy I came up with does work and is now used by the guys I fish with when we nymph fish rivers. Unfortunately, it doesn't work in stillwaters and that is what I primarily fish these days.

    It is simple to tie, as are most of what I create, and only works in size 16 and smaller.

    I call it The bubble Bug:


    Hook: Spear-it D312 or similar 2X long wet fly hook, sizes 16-20
    Thread: Black 8/0
    Tail/Body: Ringneck pheasant tail fibers, natural or dyed olive
    Shell-back/bubble: Flat antron fibers, white
    Head: Black dyed ostrich herl

    Step 1:

    Attach the thread to the hook and run back and stop just above the hook point. Tie in 4-6 pheasant tail fibers so the tail length is equal to the length of the hook shank.


    Step 2:

    Tie in the antron fibers.


    Step 3:

    Run the thread forward, wrap the tag end of the pheasant tail fibers forward to create a body. Trim away the excess.


    Step 4:

    Fold the antron forward while leaving a slight gap between the body and the shell-back. Tie-off and trim excess.


    Step 5:

    Attach two ostrich herl.


    Step 6:

    Wrap the herl to form a head. Trim away excess and whip-finish.


    Go fish!

    Side note: As it is a controversy if a caddis emerger uses a bubble to rise to the surface, I think this article by Gary Berger makes sense. It isn't the emerging caddis that uses a bubble to swim to the surface but the adult female when she dives down to lay her eggs. This is much more logical as the female adult has access to air before she dives to the bottom than an emerger does when it starts out on the bottom.

    Perhaps LaFontaine witnessed adult females rising back to the surface after laying their eggs on the bottom.
    bakerite and Jackd like this.