Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Woolly Daddy

This September I had a occasion to stop into the LL Cote mega-mall-of-the-north in Errol, NH.  I was cruising the fly shop to pick up some tippet and see what bargains and/or novelties they had.  The guy behind the counter (Jason?) asked how the fishing was and when I said it was good, he asked me what they were biting on.  When I named the different successful patterns, he asked me what they looked like, because they didn't have any of them in stock.  Some of the successful flies were the woolly-daddy, rootbeer woolly bugger, red soft hackle, and the bruiser-bugger (black and blue woolly bugger.)  Until then, I had not given it much thought, but a lot of my go-to flies are not commercially available to my knowledge.
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.
Let me know what you think and also share any hybrid/mutant patterns that you successfully use.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the recipe!! Ill have some ready for next spring.