The Buffy Special

Flies With a Story


Flies With a Story #61: Another fine fly from my friend in Montana

The Flytier:

John Mundinger of Helena, Montana

John started fishing at a young age, but took a break from fishing when his children were young.  He got serious about fishing again after fulfilling a childhood dream of learning to tie his own flies.  In 1998, he took an early retirement from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and is now self-employed as a natural resource management consultant.
Story By: John Mundinger
Fly Designed By: John
Fly Tied By: John

Be sure to see John's other story:
The Brassie



The Fly:

John's chartreuse Buffy Special.  Photo by Peter Frailey

Chartreuse Buffy Pictured Above:

Hook:  Mustad 94840, #10, or equivalent
  Danville 6/0, Olive
  Chartreuse Nylon Yarn
  Chartreuse Pseudoseal
  Chartreuse Crystal Flash
  Elk hair
  Brown and chartreuse rubber
Spun/clipped olive deer hair
  Dun grizzly, palmered through thorax

Original Buffy Featured in Story:

Hook:  Mustad 94840, #10, or equivalent
  Brown Mono
  Tan Poly Yarn
  Natural hareís ear
Chartreuse Crystal Flash
  Elk hair
Brown rubber legs
  Spun/clipped deer hair
Hackle:  Cree, palmered through thorax



The Story:

"The Buffy Special is a hopper... I developed by modifying the Werewolf...."

An original Buffy.
Photo by John Mundinger

The Buffy Special is  a hopper pattern that I developed by modifying the Werewolf, a pattern described by Sandy and Adele Pittendrigh in an article published in the March 1986 issue of Flyfisherman Magazine.

A friend and I inaugurated the Buffy Special on a Smith River trip in September, 1997.  On this trip, we were accompanied by my friendís seven-year-old son, Mitchell.  The first objective for this trip was for Mitchell to land his first trout on a fly rod without any adult assistance.  Mitchell boated four fish during the trip. 

After two days and several dozen trout!
Photo by John Mundinger

In late afternoon on the first day of the trip, I clipped off the hopper pattern that I had been using and tied on a Buffy.  I left that first fly on all day, and through the second day.  My friend and I took turns rowing and fishing from the back of the raft, using that one rod and that one fly.  Between the two of us, we landed more than 30 fish, mostly brown trout each about 15Ē, on that first Buffy.  Not wanting to loose that fine memory, after the second day I cut off that first Buffy and saved it as a memento of the trip. (See photo on the right of a very chewed up Buffy.) I tied on a replacement the next day, and we continued to use the Buffy with good success for the remainder of the trip.

The two photographs you see here are of the only remaining flies I have from that very first batch:  One never-fished fly and one seasoned veteran.

 -- John Mundinger

Tying Steps:

Hook: Pinch down barb before placing hook in vise.  Barbless is essential for this pattern because fish typically inhale the fly.

Plastic Straw Tool: Prior to attaching thread to the hook, cut a 1/4 inch length of plastic soda straw and slide over the end of the bobbin (for use in step #12).

Thread: Attach thread to the hook immediately above the point of the hook and wrap to the bend. Leave the hook shank bare from the point of the hook forward to the eye.

Poly yarn: Tie in a strand of poly yarn at the bend and wrap the tag end forward to the point of the hook.  I use a strand that is half the thickness of the yarn, as it comes off the card.

Furled, Extended Body: Twist the poly yarn several times in a clockwise direction and fold the yarn back on itself to form a furled, extended body.  Tie in at the bend and wrap to the point to form a well proportioned underbody.  The body should extend beyond the bend approximately the length of the hook shank.

Dubbing: Dub over the wrapped portion of the poly yarn.

Crystal Flash: Tie in two strands of Crystal Flash at a point mid-way between the point and the bend.  Fold the strands of Crystal Flash back and tie down.  Trim the Crystal Flash to a point just beyond the end of the extended body.

Elk Hair: Clean and stack a bunch of elk hair.  Tie in on top of the underbody, mid-way between the point and the bend to form a trude style wing that extends just beyond the end of the body.  Trim the excess hair similar to an elk hair caddis.

Rubber Legs: Tie in a double strand of rubber legs on either side of the hook at the same point where the wing is tied.  Trim legs to the length of the body.

Dubbing: Dub over the tied portion of the rubber legs.

Hackle: Tie in the hackle immediately in front of the wing.

Soda Straw Tool: Gather the hackle, rubber legs and wing together.  Slide the piece of soda straw (step #2) off the bobbin, onto the hook and over the wing. 

(The straw keeps the hackle and rubber legs out of the way while spinning and clipping the thorax.)

Deer Hair: Beginning at a point immediately in front of the underbody, spin deer hair the length of the bare hook shank, leaving sufficient room behind the eye for one or two wraps of hackle and a small head.  After covering the hook shank with spun hair, take 2 or 3 half hitches as a precaution in the event the thread is accidently cut while trimming the hair.

Clip the spun hair to a uniform cylindrical shape that is approximately twice the diameter of the extended body and flat underneath the shank.

Hackle: Slide the piece of soda straw back onto the bobbin.  Palmer the hackle through the clipped hair, taking the first full turn of hackle at the tie in point for the rubber legs.

Finishing Touches: Whip finish and glue.



 copyright © Notice by All rights reserved. This material is for your personal enjoyment. Please obtain prior written permission from the author and before any other use.