As I look over my fly box, I see a lot of hybrid, mutant patterns. A lot of times I take elements from two or three successful patterns and combine them into a new pattern. One of my earliest and still successful examples is my Black Ghost hair wing Clouser that has been a successful landlock salmon and brook trout flies for over 15 years. My Bruiser bugger has a blue glass bead for a head and black chenille with blue flecks, a fly that is especially effective catching rainbow trout. (I read somewhere that rainbows like the color blue and now I am a firm believer.) The Wood Specials in my fly box include the classic tie, but also some wing variations: Arctic fox fur, white maribou and white bucktail.
One of my most successful flies went through a gradual transition. I started with the plain old brown woolly bugger. When I tied it with orange/black variegated chenille it became the now-famous Rootbeer Bugger. That fly gets modified with different color bead heads: brass, tungsten, coneheads, yellow or orange glass and clouser dumbell in yellow or red. Then I started adding rubber legs and some red squirrel tail and voila! The Woolly Daddy crawfish fly. When I mentioned this fly last week on one of my favorite blogs Millers River Fly Fishing Forum, blogger Ken Elmer asked if I would share the pattern. Here goes. I put together a little slide show on YouTube with list of material and step by step instructions.