FLY OF THE MONTH- December 2017

                          Jim Blakeslee’s Green Bug

Photo by Vlad Bunyevich, from the VFFA book Time Flies, and used with permission















In Jim’s recent presentation to the November meeting Jim Blakeslee referred to the Green Bug as one of his favourite flies for catching the big browns in the rivers around Warrnambool. There is no doubt that the main trout rivers around Warrnambool carry heavy populations of shrimp. This is particularly true of the upper Merri.


I have some clear memories of how effective this fly can be when Jim uses it. A few years ago I was in Warrnambool for a few days holiday and Jim took me out to one of his favourite stretches on the upper Merri. He was fishing his Green Bug about 60 cm behind a Woolly Bugger, the theory being that the trout would come out to check the big black hairy thing swimming past, then grab the shrimp pattern tagging along behind. Jim spent most of his time trying to put me onto fish, but at the same time managed three or four magnificent browns himself, all on the Green Bug.


This fly is Jim’s adaptation of a fly called the Cream Bug, originally a caddis pupa pattern devised by Ted Fay of northern California. But by changing the colour, Jim has matched the fly in size, colour and action to the local shrimps. But this fly should not just be confined to Warrnambool rivers - it will work anywhere where there is a population of shrimp.


The Materials:


Hook: Size 10 or 12 nymph hook


Thread: Green to match the body colour.


Weight: Optional – a few wraps of lead wire around the front two thirds of the hook.


Body: A gradually tapered body (not too fat) of three parts light sandy grey hare’s body fur (not hare’s ear fur) mixed with one part golden olive or insect green seal’s fur. Alternatively, simply dye some hare body fur green.


Rib: The tying thread Legs/Antennae: Two bunches, each of about 10 ‘wiggly’ fibres (for better action) from towards the base of a barred wood duck feather, dyed insect green to match the body. The fibres should be long enough to reach the bend of the hook. Tie in one bunch on each side, just ahead of the dubbed body, and slanting rearwards. Pull the butts back and lock them down with a turn or two of

thread, then trim them off.


Head: One peacock herl wound backwards over the tied-down butts, then forward to the eye to create a small head. Reinforce it with a few turns of thread, then add a half hitch behind the eye. Trim off the butt of the herl, then whip finish.


Note: The Veniard dye colour Golden Olive can be matched by mixing five parts of Rit Sunshine Orange to 4 parts of Rit Kelly Green. The Veniard dye colour Insect Green can be matched by mixing eight parts Rit Lemon Yellow yellow to one part Rit Kelly Green.



Tying Notes:


  1. Wind some thread along the shank and just around the bend, then tie in a small amount of the body dubbing material.


  1. Wind the thread forward, building up a very thin body of the dubbing material until you reach a point about three quarters of the way along the hook shank. Then add some more dubbing material and wind the thread back toward the starting point, building up the thickness of the body to the desired degree. When you get to the point where the body was started just around the bend, wind the bare tying thread through the dubbed body in loose turns to add some ribbing.


  1. Select a bunch of about 10 fibres from the barred wood duck feather and tie them in on the far side just behind the eye. Take another bunch of 10 fibres and tie these in on the near side. Pull the butts back and lock them down with a couple of turns of thread, then trim away the waste. 4. Take one peacock herl and tied in behind the eye. Wind it back to the start of the body dubbing and then forward again to build up a small head. Trim off the waste, then whip finish to complete the fly.