The other day I was chatting with a buddy that I get to fish with on occasion, and being the middle of winter, the conversation inevitably turned to "whatcha' been tying?" I told him that I was at work on refilling streamer boxes- specifically the "meat box" at the moment, which consists of a lot of bunny fur, marabou, and rams wool.
Chris has shared with me some of his hot flies, and I've reciprocated the favor by sharing a few of my own favorites. A few years ago I introduced him to the Slumpbuster, which like many of John Barr's patterns has become very popular due to its effectiveness. Chris mentioned that he had been attempting to spin some up, but the results hadn't been quite up to snuff and suggested that I post up a video of one being tied.
This one is for you Chris!
Here's what you are going to need:
Hook: TMC 5263 #6 & #8 (2x heavy/3xl nymph/streamer hook)
Bead: Med. Cone
Thread: 70 Denier or 6/0
Body: Sparkle Braid
Rib: Brassie Uni-Wire to match the braid
Wing & Collar: Pine Squirrel Strips
Use pine squirrel rather than rabbit zonkers because the guard hairs are shorter which allows you to tie smaller sizes. You will want to tie the collar with the same piece of squirrel that you use to make the wing, without cutting it off and retying it in. Leave a small gap behind the cone and apply a couple of dabs of Zap-Gel before wrapping the collar, this will keep the collar in place after the rabbit skin starts to stretch and loosen after being exposed to water. I tie 10 wraps of wire to help keep the cone in place and to build a tapered underbody with thread.
I like black for low-light/dirty water, rust/copper which fishes well on the dead drift (kinda' crayfishy), natural gray/tan to imitate a range of minnows, and olive to imitate sculpins and juvenile bass.
It meets my three criteria of a good fly: easy to tie, durable, catches fish.