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Tying Video – The Slump Buster

When I was asked  awhile back to tie a leech pattern or two one of the first flies I thought of was John Barr’s Slump Buster.  Although, maybe not a true leech pattern, it certainly can be swung and fished as a leech with a sleek and flowing profile and action.  Which is one of the great things about the Slump Buster, it can be fished as a leech, a baitfish and even a sculpin.  It can be tied in colors to resemble whatever particular method you wish to fish the fly or keep it all natural and you have all three.  I first ran across the Slump Buster in John Barr’s book Barr Flies: How to Tie and Fish the Copper John, the Barr Emerger, and Dozens of Other Patterns, Variations, and Rigs which came out in 2007.  It is a wonderful book on many of the popular patterns by John Barr, including the Copper John and the Meat Whistle (another great warmwater fly).   I was teaching a class on fall baitfish patterns and decided to include the Slump Buster in the class and it quickly became the most popular fly in the class.

The fly is not difficult to tie and once you tie it a couple of times the steps are easy to remember.  Probably the only part of tying this fly that is slow going is wrapping the wire rib through the Pine Squirrel Zonker.  If you watched the video on the Electric Leech then you know the process of separating the hairs on the zonker where the rib crosses and working your way up the body can be slow going.  However, it is well worth taking the time as it helps to make the fly last much longer.  The fly in the video is tied on a size 6 hook and with Pine squirrel zonker.  If you wanted to go a bit larger, say a size 4 hook, I would probably bump up to just a regular Fox or Gray Squirrel zonker.  The hairs are longer and a little fuller for a larger hook.  Conversely,  if I were tying on a size 10 or (definitely) a size 12 hook I would switch to a Micro Pine Squirrel.  The Micro size is better suited for smaller hooks.  You can get the Pine Squirrel in many colors including Crayfish Orange, Olive, Brown and Black or you can dye it yourself if you have a preferred color.  The Slump Buster is definitely worth tying in a few colors and sizes for half a box to have on hand whenever you have those slow days where nothing seems to work and you need something to drop down and come to life where the fish are. – Enjoy.

Hook:Mustad R75S, #4 – #12
Thread:Uni-Thread 8/0, Brown
Weight:Conehead, Large Gold & .020 Lead Wire
Tail:Pine Squirrel Zonker Natural
Body:Wapsi Sparkle Braid or Flat Diamond Braid, Gold
Rib:UTC Ultra Wire, Brassie, Gold
Wing & Collar:Pine Squirrel Zonker Natural
Super Glue:Loctite Super Control Gel
Links above are to affiliate products mentioned in this post.  If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons.  Thanks in advance!

If you would like to purchase some Slump Busters there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

I hope you are getting in some time on the water and not just at the vise.  After all, on the water is where it is at!

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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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