Thursday, February 21, 2013

Buck Bugs - Part II: Tying a Shady Lady Variant Step-by-Step

This is my favorite bug for dark days

I'll be the first to tell you that I am far from the best bug tyer when it comes to pure aesthetics. The same goes for my Bombers. My bugs and Bombers certainly aren't pristine. They are very durable, however. The trick is to reinforce the hackle with thread going in both directions. It kind of mashes down the deer hair body in places and makes the bug look a little unkept, but it does a great job of protecting the hackle. I'll take durability over looks any day when it comes to a workhorse pattern like this. 

Another thing to remember is not to pack the deer hair. You don't want this fly to be too buoyant. If you want your bugs to fish a little deeper, replace the deer hair with chenille. 

This is my first attempt at a step-by-step post, so please forgive any clumsiness on my part. I hope to iron out the kinks as I do more of these. 

Shady Lady (variant)

Hook: Mustad 3399A #4-#10
Thread: White and black Danville Flymaster 6/0
Tail: Pearl Krystal Flash
Butt: Chartreuse and Chinese Red Uni-Yarn
Body: Black deer hair; spun and clipped to shape
Hackle: Brown rooster neck
Head: Black

Mustad 3399A #6
Start with white tying thread
Tie in a few strands of pearl Krystal Flash for a tail
Butt #1 - Chartreuse Uni-Yarn (3 turns)
Butt #2 - Chinese Red Uni-Yarn (3 turns)
Switch to black tying thread
Prepare a bundle of black deer hair for the first body section
Spin deer hair bundle #1 onto hook shank
Advance the thread past the first bundle
Tie in a second bundle of deer hair.
Do not pack the hair! You don't want this fly to be too buoyant
Whip finish black thread and cut off
Make four angled cuts along the body
Body after the four cuts
Tidy up the body a bit
Reattach the black thread and tie in a brown rooster neck hackle
Palmer hackle towards tail of fly (3-4 turns max)
Wind the thread through the hackle, towards the tail
Wind the thread forward through the hackle, towards the head
Clip off hackle tip
Form head, whip finish and cut thread
Add a coat of varnish and you're finished
Fish this bug with confidence! 


  1. This is a great bug on the SW your comments on using chenille and getting the bug down deeper, especially for big water.

    1. Thanks. A friend of mine just sent me a Bug with a crystal chenille body. It's really gaudy, but he says he knows folks who did well with it last season.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.