Mayfly nymph patterns are some of the most effective wet flies for trout. Zug bugs are one of these types of flies, and their creation is rather simple, and only requires a few materials. These simple trout nymph flies also resemble caddis larvae, making them useful in many fishing situations.
Tying the Zug Bug: Materials
- freshwater wet fly hook, size 10-18
- pre-waxed thread in black or olive, at least 6/0 small
- peacock herls
- brown saddle hackle
- gold, silver, or copper tinsel or flashabou (one piece)
- duck flank feathers
- weight (optional) can be lead or lead substitute wire that is very thin
How to Tie the Nymph Fly for Trout: Instructions
Place the hook in the vice, and wrap the thread onto the shank. Cut the tag, and work the thread to the back of the hook. There, tie in some peacock herls (3-5), facing backward to act as tails. These should extend back no further than half of the length of the hook shank.
Next, either tie in some new long herls (3-5) that will be wrapped forward, or use the long parts of the same ones used for the short tail. Also tie in a single strand of tinsel or flashabou here, also to be wrapped forward.
If using wire as weight, now is the time to wrap the shank in wire, and bring the thread to the front of the fly. If not using wire, just wrap the thread to the front of the fly. Then, twist the long herls together, and wrap them forward over the body of the shank to the front of the hook. Wrap them more to make a thicker body toward the front, and secure them. Next, wrap the tinsel or flashabou to the front, over the herl body, making the abdomen look segmented.
After the herl and flash have been wrapped forward to form the body, tie in a single brown hackle at the front of the hook. Wrap the shank a few times with this, and tie it off. Then, tie in a section of duck flank feather on top of the shank, pressing down on top of the flared hackle, and trim it very short, so that it runs back about 1/3-1/2 the length of the shank. This will act as wing casing. Just in front of that, knot and cement. The zug bug nymph tying process is complete.
These trout nymph flies are really very easy to tie, and as they rarely disappoint in the field, learning how to tie nymph patterns like the zug bag is worth the time for any fly tyer and trout fly fishing expert.