Tying Matt's Bug

History of the fly

This fly was originally tied by Matt Jennings, a long-standing member of CTFF, to catch bass in the crystal clear waters of the San Marcos River. He quickly discovered that it catches many other kinds of fish, in many different waters. Not being one to keep a good thing to himself, he shared his creation with his fellow members, more often than not on the stream. This tradition of sharing this fly with other anglers has continued. On more than one ocassion this pattern has been the difference between a very successful day and one that would have been a day of casting practice.


Hook: 2xl, 3xl, or 4xl Nymph or Streamer Hook Size 1-16 (depending on what species you're angling for)
Thread: 6/0 Olive
Eyes: Medium beadchain eyes (black is traditional, or other color)
Weight: adhesive backed lead tape
Tail: Sculpin olive marabou with underlayment of pearl krystal flash
Hackle: Olive saddle hackle, sized to match hook
Body: Chartreuse Lite Brite or other similar fine-stranded mylar

Tying Steps

1. Mount the thread approximately 4 eye-lengths behind the eye, and form a bump on which to place the bead chain eyes.

2. Place the beadchain eyes on the bump of thread and tye down using 10 to 12 firm figure 8 wraps. The thread bump provides a stable base for the beadchain and reduces the possibility of loose eyes that will try to rotate around the shank.

Note: after the eyes are attached you may use head cement or super glue to ensure a secure bond.

3. Wrap thread neatly back to the rear of the hook, leaving a thread base for the adhesive lead tape.

4. a. Cut a triangular shape of adhesive lead tape, just narrower than the length of the thread covered shank.

4. b. Place the straight side of the tape immediately behind the eyes. Pressing the tape firmly onto the thread covered shank.

5. Wrap the tape firmly around the hook shank, you will notice a slightly tapered body has formed.
6. Tye in a few strands of pearl krystal flash or midge flash at the rear of the hook.

7. Tye in a clump of marabou that extends from 1/2 to 1 hook shank lengths behind the bend of the hook.

(It's better to tye a longer tail to adjust streamside, by pinching/pulling excess fibers when the fish are short striking).

8. Tye in the hackle.
9. Take a "pinch" of Lite Brite and dub it around the thread making a rope.
10. Wrap the dubbed thread up the hook shank forming a tapered body (adding more lite brite as needed). Make a couple cross wraps between the eyes. Letting the thread hang behind the eyes.

11. Palmer the hackle up the hook shank, with evenly spaced wraps, being sure to wrap a heavy skirt just behind the eyes.

Tie off the hackle and trim excess.

12. Form a neatly tapered head, and half-hitch or whip finish.

Cement the head and set aside to dry.

The finished fly.


Fishing Matt's Bug

This fly can be fished on a dead drift or stripped quickly subsurface, or somewhere in between, depending on conditions.


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