Fly­box fillers

Russ Sy­mons ties a Rough Buzzer

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

THIS is a fly which should def­i­nitely live in the ‘crafty catcher box’. It is a left­over from years gone by when all Buzzers were tied with a dubbed or pheas­ant tail body. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the mod­ern ver­sions of the Buzzer with their UV resin bodies, traf­fic light tho­rax and glinty bodies. I have a cou­ple of fly boxes stuffed with them. But! Un­less you tie them with a foam ap­pendage to make them float, then the resin bod­ied flies will sink, and they will sink quite quickly. Okay, you can grease your leader to keep them in the top foot or so of water, you can fish them on a ‘wash­ing-line’ to keep them high in the water, but what you might have real dif­fi­culty with is ac­tu­ally fish­ing them in the sur­face film or sta­tion­ary hal­fan-inch un­der the water’s sur­face. Solve this with a Rough Buzzer! I read­ily ac­knowl­edge that th­ese Rough Buzzers are al­most crude in ap­pear­ance com­pared with the resin-bod­ied fly, but in truth ap­ply­ing the adage that the ‘wrong fly in the right place is in­fin­itely bet­ter than the right fly in the wrong place’ ap­plies in spades to th­ese rough-bod­ied buzzers. Be­cause when fished on a 5wt set-up with a greased-up leader and moved barely enough to keep in con­tact with the fly, th­ese Rough Buzzers can be lethal in the right place at the right time. If you can see fish mov­ing, the oc­ca­sional wink and flash of a fish’s flank as it turns, an oc­ca­sional noisy slurp as the fish takes some­thing close to or ac­tu­ally in the sur­face film, then this is the time when th­ese rough lit­tle flies are well worth an out­ing. Be­cause th­ese flies have a nat­u­ral dubbed body and nat­u­ral feather for a hackle, they can ac­tu­ally be treated with dry fly floatant. They won’t float for very long, but they won’t sink very far ei­ther. When com­bined with a foot or two of fluoro­car­bon to the fly they will fish in the top few inches of the water – just where you want them to be! If you re­trieve with a very slow fig­ure-of-eight move­ment, com­bined with some long pauses, then you might well at­tract those fish that have seen ev­ery­thing else whizzing past at a rate of knots. To be hon­est, when I see a per­fect shovel of a tail, I know deep down that I have got the fish I want. This is not a dif­fi­cult fly to tie, but it is one of those flies that needs a me­thod­i­cal ap­proach oth­er­wise it

“Th­ese Rough Buzzers can be lethal in the right place at the right time.”

can be­come very un­tidy, very quickly. To keep the flies in the same pro­por­tion I tend to count the num­ber of turns of thread to where I tie the tin­sel in for the tho­rax cover. Nor­mally if I am us­ing 100 de­nier GSP thread, which I have to con­fess is my ‘go to’ thread th­ese days, then it is 12 turns be­fore I tie the tin­sel in for the tho­rax cover. Then a cou­ple of turns beyond that I start to tie in the pearl tin­sel for the rib­bing, tak­ing it down to a third of the way around the hook shank. Just a few years ago I used to count those turns as well, but th­ese days by eye is good enough. The body dub­bing on the stan­dard Rough Buzzer is mostly hare’s ear, but I pick the dub­bing over and try to use a lot of the un­der­fur with just a lit­tle of the guard hairs, some­times mix­ing in a lit­tle squir­rel or rab­bit to tame it a lit­tle more. What you have to be care­ful with is not mak­ing the body too bulky. It needs to be a dubbed body, but a skinny dubbed body, so use the ‘split thread’ style of dub­bing loop, or if you are go­ing to use a twin thread dub­bing loop, roll the dub­bing noo­dle between thumb and fore­fin­ger af­ter spin­ning it, so that it is flat­tened, then you can see that it is not go­ing to make a body that is too bulky. Take this dub­bing up to the tho­rax tin­sel be­cause this is your po­si­tion marker. Tie it off in front of the tho­rax tin­sel then bring the rib­bing tin­sel up the body in open turns and tie off in front of the tho­rax tin­sel. At this point tie in the hen hackle used to palmer the tho­rax, adding a leggy ap­pear­ance to the tho­rax area. Dub the tho­rax with the same dub­bing as for the body, but a much looser dub. Palmer it with the hen hackle, tie off and bring the tho­rax cover over and tie down for a small neat head. I tend to use UTC yel­low Glow Tin­sel for the tho­rax cover. My pal uses holo­graphic tin­sel like a proper traf­fic light. They both work so take your pick.

A Rough Buzzer works well when fish are just sub­sur­face.

Rough Buzzers can be tied in a range of colours.

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