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Current Tags for This Pattern
/ Antron / Brown / swiss straw / white /

"Original Sowbug"

tied by flytiehunt
Target Species: Trout,
Recommended Region: Central US,
Material List:
The Original “Sowbug”

Hook: TMC 3769 size 12-18
Thread: UNI- thread 6/0 Tan
Antennae: UNI- thread / same color
Back: Swiss straw/ brown or mottled thinskin
Body: Antron/ cream
Rib: UNI- thread/ same
Lead wire: 0.15

This is the original sowbug that was created for the White River and Norfork tailkwater systems. Fox Statler is the originator of this pattern. This pattern is deadly in high water. I think the best size is a 12 fishing it in two or three units at the start of the dam. The biggest fish I’ve caught so far on it was a eight pound brown. I’m still waiting for something bigger and I’ll be ready when that time comes.

Tying Instructions: TYING INSTRUCTION:

This fly is real simple, but very effective.

Step 1.

As you can see I already weighted the fly. Do enough wraps to cover most of the hook shank ,but leave enough room for a head to tie in, and in the back as well.

Step 2.

Start you’re thread in the front of the lead wire making a thread dam and wind over the lead doing the same thing to the back of the lead. This will lock it into place so that it will not shift or move when you go to complete the fly.

Step 3.

Once you do that you should still have a tag hanging of the back. What I do with this is make a loop with the tag to create my antennae’s. You will cut that after you complete the fly. Whatever tag end you have left after making the loop, go ahead and cut it off.

Step 4.

Advance the thread back to the center of the shank. Now you’re ready to tie in your swiss straw. Cut a piece of swiss straw and cut it in the center. Now you will have two pieces. You will only need to use one of those. Tie it in an wind to the bend. Advance the thread to the eye to start the dubbing.

Step 5.

You can’t really see how the dubbing is put on, but I’m sure you know how. The only thing in this step is not to dub too much dubbing around the shank as you wind back. Build the dubbing up as you go.

Step 6.

Once you are at the back, grab some kind of pliers that has a flat surface so you can pinch the lead flat to create the flat body. I like to use the de-barb pliers from Tiemco. After you pinch the lead you are ready to start the segmentations. Your thread should be at the back. Now start the segments wrapping the thread to the eye. I usually do about six to seven turns creating the segments. The bigger the hook the more segmentations.

Step 7.

Cut the loop in the back to form the attenneas.

Step 8.

Whip finish the fly and glue the eye.
Presentation Tips: Fish it on the bottom.

Additional Photos

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