SBS Tom Thumb


Active Member

A vintage stillwater pattern; either English or B.C. roots. The wing/shellback sequence was lifted from Charlie Craven's Improved Humpy; makes it much easier to get consistent wing length and cuts down on bulk.

hook - Dai Riki 300 #10
thread - UTC 140 tan
tail - elk hair
body - peacock herl
shellback/wing - elk hair

mash barb, start thread; wrap to bend

clean, stack, measure (gap width past bend) a clump of elk hair; tie in/trim

clean, stack, measure (shank length) another clump of elk

tie in at eye, trim about 1/2 of the hair out as you wrap to towards the tail to cut down on bulk

tie in peacock, wrap herl to front, tie off/trim; re-enforce if you want (I should have counterwrapped some x-small wire - next one) but with the ungulate shellback, it's just a race to see which will shred first

pull shellback forward; tie off/trim butts

pull wing back (note to self - use black thread next time)

half hitch x 2, SHHAN

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Old trout

Active Member
Very nice. I like you method for the shell back. I never thought of that. It does reduce the bulk and also easier to control the wing length. The Tom Thumb is a good fly. again, very nice, Thank you.


Indi "Ira" Jones
I prefer the Mikalak too, way more durable, but sometime they want something with a smaller profile and the thumbs do the trick.
Been awhile since I fished them up North, but I found with my very anecdotal evidence that smaller fish were more likely to take the Thumb over the Mik. Meaning, that when I'd find a bunch of smaller fish, they struggled to put the dang Mik in their mouths, but they could totally engulf the Thumb :)


Active Member
I will tie some up for the Copper River in Bristol Bay. It will be a killer. I might add a hackle around the peacock and maybe some rubber legs.