My Love Affair with the Girdle Bug-Part 1

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

A Little History First: Before going any further, a little history on the girdle bug is in order. It is believed Frank McGinnis of Anaconda, Montana created the fly in the 1930’s or 40’s. He developed it to mimic the stoneflies on the Big Hole River. The fly was originally dubbed the ‘McGinnis rubber legs;’ its current name is in honor of the rubber legs that were originally taken from a girdle (or at least that’s the folklore).

It is easy to tie and durable as long as you fortify the thread on the head with a lot of head cement, or, my favorite UV Knot Sense by Loon (this is cured in 5-10 seconds with a UV flashlight).  Trout love to chomp on this fly and will cut the head thread in short order. The original fly was tied by wrapping lead wire down the entire shank of the hook. That version of the fly sinks like a rock. However, if you are not fishing on a large western river with lots of current, you will spend most of your time trying to unsnag your fly or tying on a new fly every other cast as you had to break off another snag. The fly is versatile in that it works well as the original version, with no weight at all, and everything in between (more on that later).

Last year I hired a guide to learn more about night fishing. According to the fly shop, this guy catches more fish over 20” in a year than many catch in their life. During the course of our outing he asked me what was my favorite fly.

With no hesitation I replied, “A girdle bug”.
He laughed and said, “You’ve got to be kidding, right?”
I replied, “Nope, seriously it is one of the most versatile flies I know of.”

Here’s how I came to that conclusion.

Continue reading → My Love Affair with the Girdle Bug-Part 1

The Elusive Third Hand for Fly Tying

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

Every now and then two hands are not enough to hold everything in place and get the thread wrapped around whatever you are tying in place. Just last week I got a bargain on some bunny strip streamers that needed a little reinforcement before being used. All I wanted to do was tie down the bunny strip near the end of the hook shank. If you have ever used rabbit strips, you know how uncooperative bunny fur is. It goes where ever it wants and usually to the worst place that will complicate your life as a fly tyer.

I had two dozen flies to modify and after using the tried and true method of licking my fingers and wetting down the hair I wanted to move out of the way, I decided there had to be a better way. So, I stopped tying and thought (completely out of character for me). It took just a minute or two before I realized that a section of plastic tubing with a slit cut out of the center might work. As luck would have it, I had a section of 3/36” (O.D.) tubing (the I.D. was 3/16”; that’s probably not very important). The desired slot was made easily with an x-acto knife. I accidentally made the slot tapered (See Diagram 1); this proved to make it easier to slide my “third hand” over the fur. Voila, problem solved. All of the fur was held out of the way and I was able to tie down the bunny strip and whip finish with no interference from the bunny fur!

Continue reading → The Elusive Third Hand for Fly Tying

Fly of the Month – Yewchuck’s Shrimp

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Steve Yewchuck, Beacon, NY, You can find Steve @:

This shrimp pattern was tied for a friend who was headed on a Bonefish trip and was looking for a larger brownish pattern. It’s based off of classic realistic shrimp patterns but uses modern materials.

Hook – Partridge sea streamer 1/0 or Ahrex SA 220 Saltwater Streamer Hook
ThreadUTC 70 brown or any brown 6/0 thread
Heads EP Fibers tan
Antenna 2 Flashabou pearl fibers
Eyes – 60lb mono/UV black resin
Legs Buggy Nymph Legs tan
ShellScud Back brown
RibUltra Wire medium brown
Body dubbingSenyo’s Laser Dub tan
TailFlymen Fish-Skull Shrimp Tail medium

1- start by running thread the length of the hook from eye to the bend and spin a clump of EP tan fibers to form the head making sure they are 360 .
2- next tie in two Flashabou fibers in on top making the antenna.
3- next the eyes are tied in one on each side . The eyes are 60lb mono melted flat on the ends and covered with black uv resin. The resin must cover the flat melted ends to stay connected.
4- tie in the scud skin with the head trimmed to a triangular shape on top. Pull the skin over the head and out of the way.
5- I then dub in a short section of tan dubbing which the legs are tied into . Make a few thin wraps of dubbing over the leg that you have held in place. Positioned 4 legs on each side .
6- tie in the brown wire on the side and pull towards the head out of the way.
7- then make a tapered dubbing body back to the eye of the hook leaving room to tie in the metal shrimp tail.
8- after the tail is tied in run some dubbing over it to hide the attachment point.
9- I then lay the scud skin down on the back of the fly and wrap the wire forward forming the segmentation.
10- bring the wire under the scud skin and trim it tieing it off with a whip knot . I then put a dab of super glue to secure the knot.
11- trim the scud skin to finish the fly .