Tuesday, January 18, 2000

SR71 Woolybugger

Originator: Russ Blessing

Version by Catch Cormier

Species: all freshwater gamefish


The famous SR71 spy plane was the inspiration for this version of the popular woolybugger. Like the sleek jet with swept back wings, codename "Blackbird", the SR71WB has flow back design. Using shlapplen instead of saddle hackle for the palmered collar accomplishes this. What's more, the webby nature of this particular feather gives it more bulk than the average WB. As it is stripped, both the collar and tail pulsate generating an enticement that no trout, panfish or even bass can resist.

I can't take full credit for this fly. Merv Herbert heard about it on Art Bell's radio show, when a caller mentioned that flies were being tied in a secret Nevada base using instructions found in the saucer that crashed in Roswell in 1947. Made sense to me.

- 0.20 lead wire
- olive medium chenille
- olive schallpen hackle
- size 12 Mustad 9672 hook
- olive marabou
- pearl crystal flash


- tied thread on hook to bend, do 8 wraps of lead wire around shank.
- measure marabou (with tips out) equal to shank of hook, tie down at bend, snip marabou even with front of wire wrap, use thread to secure excess against shank.
- trim 1/2 inch off tip of schallpen, tie in tip at bend.
- trim off 1/8 inch of chenille fur off its string, and tie the string in at bend.
- bring thread to 1 "eye length" from eye of hook.
- wrap chenille forward each wrap snug in front of the previous wrap to 2 "eyes length" away from the hook eye.
- palmer (wide loose wraps) the feather toward the eye, make 2 turns in place 1 "eye length", then secure with 2 wraps of thread right thru the spiraled-out fibers.
- stroke the fibers back and build a head of thread and secure with half-hitch or whip finish knot.

Now here comes the fun part. To really get the fibers to lock back, take saliva and use it to wet the "wings" and stroke them back. When dry, the fly will retain it's sweptback shape.