The Chub Bug
Flies With a Story

The Flytier:

Fly Tied By: Mark "Dble Haul" Dysinger
Pattern By: Mark
Story By: Mark
Home: Portland, Connecticut

When he was younger, Mark guided for an outfit in Portland, Maine. Now, by day, he is a research scientist at a pharmaceutical company.  And, depending on the night, he is a marital arts instructor at a local Kung Fu school or a DJ at a nearby club.  Between all that, he manages to find time to tie flies and fish, and to be a moderator on a popular flyfishing Web site.


The Flies:




Hook: Scud hook, sizes 10-14
Weight: Bead head
Thread: 6/0, color to match pattern
Tail: Filoplume, color to match pattern
Abdomen: Dubbing, color to match pattern
Rib: Light copper wire
Legs: A few turns of neutral-color hackle
Thorax: Dubbing, same as abdomen or contrasting color

A note on materials: Marabou can be substituted for the filoplume, but I find that it's more fragile, and antron can be a bit too stiff to get good action in the water.


The Story:

"...This pattern is most effectively fished using a dead drift right above the bottom...."

A few years ago, I wanted to tie a nymph with somewhat universal appeal in the New England streams and rivers that I frequent. What was born of this desire was a pattern tied on a scud hook that can imitate many things specifically, or suggest many things in general. It looked fairly bland and simple, but I believe that is part of its appeal.

The flyís name came to me after a culmination of trial and error on the water and with a little help from an unexpected source. I had been vexed with trying to come up with a name for the pattern, until my birthday in the fall of 2000. My wife and I were on the Housatonic River in western Connecticut, and my usual patterns hadnít been producing. Anne suggested that I try the newer "unnamed fly", as she called it, so I obliged. The next 30 minutes produced about 20 chubs, and nothing else.

After that event, the fly was relegated to the back of my fly box as a last resort, and when it was next used it proved its worth on some picky brown trout. When I told my wife of my success with the pattern on the browns, she wasnít sure of which fly I was referring. When I showed one to her, she said "Oh yeah, the Chub Bug." The name has stuck, and since then it has taken rainbows, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, crappie, most species of sunfish, and perch. I look forward to trying some color combinations on brook trout here in the East and cutthroat trout out West in the near future.

Depending upon the colors of dubbing that are used, this pattern can imitate numerous food sources, including scuds, aquatic worms, hellgrammites, tadpoles, grubs and various larvae and pupae. When using contrasting colors for the thorax and abdomen, a peeking caddis and other emerging insects can be imitated. Iíve had better success using copper bead heads with the dark flies and gold bead heads with medium to light flies. This fly usually drifts upside down (i.e., hook point up), but such a drift can be guaranteed by tying a thin strip of lead on top of the hook shank prior to tying in the tail.

This pattern is most effectively fished using a dead drift right above the bottom. Itís a good searching fly when covering a lot of water, and when tied in bright yellow or pink itís a proven attractor pattern.

--Mark Dysinger


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