The Bumblepuppy is a fly created by Theodore Gordon around the 1890s. It is an interesting fly pattern in that he never considered it a “completed” fly. That is to say, he never saw any versions of the fly as the one he thought was the best and therefore not needing any more development. All flies at some point go through a development stage in regards to tying and fishing to see how effective the pattern is and how feasible it it to tie. If a fly take 30 minutes to tie and seldom catches fish than that fly needs some work. However, if the fly take 20 minutes to tie and catches all sorts of fish in different conditions than that fly might be just the way you want it. If you can get the fly down to less than ten minutes to tie, using common materials that are not hard to work with and it still is productive then you might just have a winner. Most tiers will work on a pattern to the point where they can tie it fairly quick and it fishes well and does catch fish and then they call it done and move on to another pattern. The Bumblepuppy is a fly that went through the same process although through a number of fly tiers and not just one. It was a productive pattern from the start but Gordon as well as others thought it could still be improved. Thus, the many versions of the Bumblepuppy were born. In the video I mention Joseph D. Bates, Jr.’s book Streamers and Bucktails the Big Fish Flies as well as The Founding Flies by Mike Valla. Both of these books talk about the Bumblepuppy and various versions and how they came to be. As I mentioned, there is a typical process flies go through but not many that never seem to get to the end. Although, really most fly patterns are still being tweaked and played with to meet certain needs or to just “see how it does”. That is part of the fun of fly tying, if you don’t have a certain material a pattern calls for you can simply substitute it for something else (or another color) and you may have just made the fly more fishable, fun to tie and catch more fish.
I mention all of the above because if you search the internet for the Bumblepuppy streamer you will see a number of different versions of the fly. That is sort of normal when looking for tying videos or recipes of flies on the Internet. Not everyone learns a particular pattern the same. However, it seemed to me there were a larger than usual number of variations for the Bumblepuppy. That got me digging deeper. Eventually, I decided to focus the video on the version tied by Herm Christian. I like the simplicity of the fly and how the lower half of the bucktail is trimmed back. It is a technique I have seen in some other bucktail patterns but you don’t see it that often these days. So, I thought this version would be a nice one to talk about. Plus, it can easily be scaled up or down depending on the need. In the video I use a Chinese neck hackle for the tail as well as the collar but when moving up to a size 2 or 1/0 hook I would use a Whiting American Rooster. The Chinese neck would probably not have any hackles with barbs long enough for that large of a hook. I also mentioned that I tied some on larger hooks for Bass and substituted some peacock herl in for the turkey. I thought it would be interesting to see how they do. I could also see changing the color of the chenille to a yellow, light blue or pink to see how they might do. As you can see, the Bumblepuppy is a fly that is easy to experiment with and still not quite “complete”. – Enjoy.
|Hook: Mustad 9672 (R74), #4 – #12
|Danville 6/0, Black
|Chinese Neck Hackle fibers, Red
|Nylon Chenille, Large, White
|Chinese Neck, Red & White
If you would like to purchase a few Bumblepuppy Streamers flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).
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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.