Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tying Tutorial: The "Nothin' Special" Bluegill Fly

Several years back, on a night I couldn't sleep, I thought to myself, "why not combine as many triggers into one bluegill fly as possible and see what happens?" The next morning I did just that, and the result has been by far the most productive and most durable bluegill fly I have ever used.  The main thoughts I had were: flash, bright color, rubber legs, durability, subtle/slow sink rate, and a fast tie.  I have not changed the pattern or any involved materials at all since that first version I tied.  It fished great, held up extremely well, and if it ain't broke you don't fix it.  Here's the recipe.

Hook - dry fly hook sized from 10-14 (I usually tie 14's)
Thread - 8/0 or equivalent
Bead - brass to match hook size (I use 3/32" for the size 14)
Tail - Krystal Flash
Body - Ultra Chenille
Legs - centipede rubber legs
Collar - Ice Dub

Begin by beading a hook and starting a thread base.  This color combo is the one I fish 9/10 times for this fly.  For the black/chartreuse look, I use a black bead.

Next double 4-5 strands of Krystal Flash over your thread and tie them down.  Trim them a little less than a shank length.  I try to keep the tails shorter for bluegill patterns to give them less hook-less material to chomp.  I use an olive KF for this pattern.

Strip the fuzzy off one end of a piece of Ultra Chenille and tie the material in by that stringy stub to avoid adding too much bulk.  Then wrap the chenille forward, tie off and trim.  Try to leave a little space between the bead and the chenille.  You won't need much.

On each side, double over a single strand of rubber leg material and anchor it in place, forming two legs per side.  Unlike the Bully Bluegill Spider, I trim these legs short enough (about to the hook bend) so that they can't foul around the hook.

Lightly dub some Ice Dub (UV Black in this case) to your thread and wrap a small Ice Dub collar between the legs and the bead.  Whip finish, and you're done. 

This is a really fast and cheap fly to tie.  Cranking out a box full won't take much time at the table.  A few other colors I tie and fish are all black, yellow/red, and yellow/black.  Having sharp contrast between the body and head seems to work really well for panfish.  One of my favorite attributes with this pattern is versatility.  It can be fished on its own, under an indicator, or as a dropper off a surface bug (it's light enough not to sink small surface bugs).  Last week, while on vacation in SC, I fished the Nothin' Special hard and was rewarded daily with coppernose bluegills and redears.  I tied a half dozen of these before I left Ohio.  I gave one to a kid I met while fishing, and the other 5 survived a few hundred fish in 6 days.  They are a little beat up but still fish.  I love durability in a bluegill pattern!  Production isn't a bad attribute, either.

If you enjoy fly fishing for bluegill and other panfish, tie up a half dozen of these and give them a shot.  You will not be disappointed!  There may be nothing special in the materials list, but this fly has an "it" factor for panfish.

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