Fly Tying- Building a better Boobie

by Philip Rowley

Boobie flies, lovem’ or hatem’. personally, i’m somewhere in between but loving them or not isn’t really the point of today’s post but one of cleverly thought-out fly design and technique(s). we’ve already seen a myriad of tying videos here on TLC and this is one of the most thoroughly thought-out and complete ones i’ve ever had the pleasure of studying and here’s why:

– a curved hook always gets my preference when it fits with the fly’s design and this one fits it super-well. as alluded to in the video, these flies can be easily be inhaled and a curved-in hook point in my opinion not only holds fish better once hooked but really help in keeping the fly in the fish’s mouth instead of down its throat. even if you’re not a die-hard barbless fisher (and you should be !) please either find a similar factory barbless or crush the barb well when tying these patterns.

– thickish tying thread as stated makes for better tying-in of thin foam parts as it’s less likely to cut through. besides, there’s no need for finesse here.

– trimming marabou fibres from the stalk instead of using the feather’s tip is the way to go. even if the tip seems flexible it isn’t half as flexible as the fibres lower down the feather and, because of the asymmetry of the tip’s fibres it’s a lot harder to get a good, even bunch along the whole tail’s length.

– the thread wrap between the tail and hook shank greatly improves the tail’s position and swim. all you need is one snug wrap to get this.

– trimming the tied-in tail by tearing them off with the fingers because nothing makes a ‘deader’ tail than by trimming it with scissors.

– ‘made-for-Boobies’ chenille really makes a difference from the standard synthetic chenille. this particular model isn’t very translucent which can be a good or a lesser good thing but the more important element with this pattern-type-specific material is the way it moves when fished. the fibres fold back on retrieve and resume their original shape when stopped and this gives the fly’s body a ‘breathing’ effect while still holding its structure to push water, give a very visible profile and combined with the foam eyes, creates a water-flow turbulence which in turn greatly enhances the tail’s movement even with the slightest and slowest retrieve. in other words, the fly doesn’t need to be torn through the water to make it come alive and its the combination of all these elements that makes these patterns so effective in triggering strikes.

– unless you’re going to tie a lot of these things, factory-made foam eyes are the way to go as they’re perfectly symmetric. its not an aesthetic thing but one of how the symmetric eyes will be perfectly balanced. asymmetric eyes make the fly swim erratically and usually twist on itself during the retrieve and that’s no good.

lots of good stuff there easily transposed to a whole lot of other less offensive patterns so, there isn’t a lot to hate is there ?
be sure to watch in HD by clicking the video’s settings button, enjoy !

Dremmels, Boobies and the Perfect set of Eyes

by Alun Rees at The Enigmatic Angler

what can be more fun than combining power tools and boobie tying ? NOTHING !!!

the problem with boobies (the foam eyes part) is they’re almost always asymmetric, making the fly spin upon retrieve. this makes the fish dizzy and consequently lazy and then they just sort of pass out and don’t chase the fly. it twists leaders and makes them look like piggy tails. fish don’t like piggy tails.

now, boobie eyes are one thing but the creative Frankensteinish tier will see right away that this little tool can also help make all sorts of smooth, sexy-groovy shapes in foam or cork for various flies: poppers, sliders, bodies, lips, legs etc, etc.
body parts will never be the same !
as noted in the article, be sure to wear eye protection and i’d recommend a mask or buff or whatever to cover mouth and nose. boobie-dust is hard to remove from the lungs !

click on either pic for Alun’s great grinding tutorial. enjoy !

Mr. Softy visits the Limp Cobra

by Davie McPhail

you know it, with a name like that it can only be a sure-fire fantastico fish catcher ! :mrgreen:

primarily designed for UK type put-and-take stocked rainbow trout fisheries, this pattern who’s pretty obvious genetics we’ll link to Jack Gartside’s historical Gurgler is an extremely versatile streamer. versatile not only because it can be fished effectively from bottom to the surface depending on the fly line density employed but very versatile because this pattern can be either a pure ‘attractor’ or by changing color schemes and size can be a wounded, sick or dying fish, a mouse, a weird tadpole, leech or any number of slimy things traveling through the water column. either way, whatever it is taken for is far surpassed by it’s sexy-slinky movement and that’s what makes this pattern and its variants the catcher that it is.

as tied below, even with all that foam the rabbit strip tail once soaked with water won’t make it a great floater and that’s no problem because these really shine when fished with sinking lines. intermediates with short-short leaders or with higher density sinkers and then adjust the leader length to place the fly at the right hight from the bottom (we’ll need to think in a ‘reversed’ fashion to say, a nymph and indicator rig here. the line is cast, allowed to sink and it lays on the bottom of the lake or sea. the floating fly will hover above it. when the line is retrieved the fly slinkies down, during retrieve pauses the fly flutters back up)
this sinking line/floating fly method is called ‘Booby Style’ but these are a lot better than some dumb boobies  !

apart from the fly’s construction there’s some juicy tidbits we can take away from Davie’s video: attaching Fritz and zonker strips efficiently, other advantages of waxing thread and his ever-present “nice and tight” comments inciting the tier to keep constant thread tension. enjoy !

ps- i love coincidences. last night and before finding Davie’s video i tied several small variants of this Softy/Gurgler. pics coming soon !

dumb Boobies…

most of us know that Boobies look like this:

they float, we fish them deep with a fast sinker, they wiggle and bob and they’re very inciting.

well, apparently the guy below didn’t quite read the instructions and managed to stretch his fly line across a bicycle path and capture a soft-headed pedalist in the process of trying to land his fish…

Booby Trapping: they weren’t kidding when they said that fate decides when Coloradans who are supposed to meet will meet when the time is ‘just right’…

wednesday’s fairy

a cross-over between a blob and a booby should have been a ‘bloobie’ but that sounds dumb.
‘fairy’ will do just fine, thank you sir…

ps- the eye in the back of the fly is to confuse the fish into thinking the fly is both advancing and retreating at the same time, which in a way it does.