I have been tying and fishing this pattern for so long I have forgotten it's origins. I don't believe it is an original of mine and I have no recollection of where I may have seen it for the first time. It is just the sort of fly that would come off the vise of my friend Jay "Fishy" Fullum. I say that because the fly has two ingredients that are signature materials for Fishy - foam and superglue. I need to ask him about this pattern the next time I see him so I can give credit where credit is due.
The triangle shape of this bug is what makes it the perfect panfish fly. Bluegills and other members of the sunfish family have small mouths. Despite this fact, that they are notorious for swallowing flies. The broad head of the fly prevents the small mouthed bluegill from taking it too deeply, but the narrow portion near the business end of the hook allows them to take it from the surface with ease and allows for solid hook ups.
In my opinion rubber legs are essential for any surface panfish fly. The legs on this fly wiggle enticingly every time the fly is moved and continue to twitch at rest. The silhouette presented to the fish is an attractive one, and the fly is very visible to the angler.
It is probably my number one top water panfish fly and it has accounted for more that its share of bass including one fish that would have weighed over six pounds. That is quite an accomplishment for such a small fly.
I tie it in a variety of colors, but in reality, I could get away with just two if I had to. The first one would have a green body and a chartreuse bucktail. The other would be solid black. I have caught more fish on those two colors than all the others colors combined. Despite that, I still tie and fish this pattern in a multitude of colors, they all work. Sometimes it is just a matter of wanting to look at something different on the end of my line.
Until earlier this year I sometimes struggled with the proportions of this fly. All of my flies from a single tying session would be uniform in appearance, but they would often look different from the ones left over in my box. The reason was because I always cut the foam freehand into a shape that looked right at the time. Things changed when my friend Bill Ninke presented me with a simple template made from a paint stirrer. Now I can create uniform shaped bodies time after time and my boxes filled with perfectly proportioned flies. Does it matter to the fish? Hell no, but it makes me feel good! I'll provide details on the template along with instructions on its use in a later post.
You can find the pattern recipe here.