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Matt's Monster Bugger Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Matt's Monster Bugger
3X-long nymph hook (here a Daiichi 1720), sizes 2-6.
Gold cone, size to match hook.
18-20 wraps of .02 lead wire.
Black, 6/0 or 140 denier.
Black marabou.
Black Estaz.
Any rubber leg material (two pairs).
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Video Transcript:

Early season fishing often means cold, fast, off-colored water and big, weighty streamers with lots of moving parts can be very effective. Matt Grobert ties such a pattern and refers to it as a "Monster Bugger".

Matt begins with a rather substantial Daiichi 1720, size 4 hook. Onto this he'll place an appropriately sized gold cone head. This in itself makes for a rather heavy fly but adding 18 to 20 wraps of .02 lead wire really helps the fly to get where it needs to go.

For thread, Matt loads a bobbin with black 6/0 Danville. Start your thread on the hook shank, immediately behind the lead wraps and apply a decent coating of thread over the lead to hold it in place. Building a little ramp of thread between the lead and the hook shank doesn't hurt either.

For the tail, select a single plume of black marabou and snip the stem to remove about the top half of the feather. Secure the plume to the top of the hook shank above the barb. At this point, don't worry too much about the length of the tail. Secure the marabou to the hook shank with tight wraps of thread up to the lead wire and snip the butt off. Use your fingernails, rather than your scissors, to trim the tail to about a hook shank in length. Some like longer tails, others shorter, the choice is yours.

Cut about a 6 inch length of black Estaz and pull a few fibers away to expose the thread core.Tie in the thread core at the base of the tail and then wind your tying thread forward to about the 2/3rds point on the shank.

Snip two strands of your favorite rubber leg material and secure them to the top of the hook shank with a couple figure 8 wraps. If you have a materials clip, use it to hold this first set of legs back and out of the way.

Advance your thread up the shank leaving some space behind the cone head. Snip another pair of rubber legs and secure them to the top of the hook shank in the same manner.

Pull all of the legs forward to get them out of the way and begin taking wraps of Estaz up the hook shank. Rubber legs can be unruly and need to be closely monitored so you don't trap them beneath the wraps of Estaz. When you reach the first set of legs, pull them back and secure them in the materials clip so they are out of the way when you take wraps of Estaz in front of them. When you reach the front set of legs, do the same thing. Then take wraps of Estaz to fill in the area behind the cone head and then secure it with your tying thread. With that done, you can snip the remainder of the Estaz off and whip finish the fly, trying not to trap fibers as you go.

Finally, lift all the rubber legs to vertical and snip them off so they're about the same length as the fly. This fly has a ton of motion, pushes a fair bit of water and sinks like a stone. Black helps to make it visible in off-colored water. All around, a great fly for early season fishing.