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Buzz Hackle

Since the "Local Fishing" article for this month features that gem of a stream, the North Yuba River, it seemed appropriate to feature a North Yuba fly. The Buzz Hackle is one of those flies whose origin is murky at best. It may even be a different name for another pattern. In some respects it resembles the old standard "Renegade", with its "fore & aft" hackle technique. I suppose it’s someone’s adaptation, found to be successful on the North Yuba. I found it in Ed Klingelhofer’s book on the North Yuba (mentioned in the local fishing article). And, I might add, it does work–but don’t ask me why. When guiding on this gem, if things aren’t going too well I’ll tie one of these little bugs on; it sometimes will coax fish up when other imitations fail. It fits our general criterion of being simple to tie, so let’s build one.


Hook:  Standard dry fly hook, sizes 14-18

Thread:  Black 6/0 or 8/0

Tag: Fine silver flat tinsel

Tail: Red quill or hackle fibers

Hackle(rear):  Grizzly dry fly quality

Body:  Peacock herl

Hackle(front):  Brown dry fly quality


1. Smash hook barb and cover back half of hook with layer of thread. Run thread past beginning of bend about 10 winds.

2. Tie on fine silver tinsel; crystal flash is a good substitute.

3. Tie on a tail of red quill fibers or red hackle; length should be equal to shank length.

4. Tie in the grizzly hackle and take 3 or 4 close winds; tie off and clip. This should cover no more than rear 1/3 of the hook

5. Tie in a piece of black thread, and then the peacock herl, both right in front of the grizzly hackle. Use 2 or 3 strands of herl, depending on hook size.

6. Twist the herl together with the thread; this strengthens it against the razor teeth of Godzilla, the trout. Wrap this "chenille" forward, covering the center 1/3 of the hook. Tie off.

7. Tie in a brown hackle. Wrap it forward with 3 or 4 wraps, covering the front 1/3 of the hook. Leave room for a small, neat head. Build the tapered head, whip finish, and admire the result.

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Copyright 2000 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.