This week we are tying a fly that I call the Marabugger. It is basically a Wooly Bugger that has a marabou body. If you are fly fishing the Flathead River this time of year you need to be able to fish effective flies subsurface if the dry fly bite is not on. This time of year I start to switch to streamers. There are lots of smaller bat fish around and I fish flies that mimic that food source. Clousers, Wooly Bugger and other streamers work great but this fly has been getting the job done for me.
I like my streamers to have a lot of movement with a nice bait fish taper to them. Marabou moves like crazy in the water…AKA… FISHY!!! You can bang out these patterns quickly and are not very hard to tie. I tie most of my fall and winter streamers on Dai-Riki #710Size 6 hooks, the perfect bait fish length. They are 1x strong making them heavier and have a 3x long shank. Streamers and Buggers need the extra shank length to get that baitfish profile. Size 3/16 Spirit River beads are a great compliment to the hook and I use 0.030 lead wire to weigh it down.
You want to make sure that your tail is about the length of the shank,eye to the bend. When marabou gets wet it looses about half its volume so tie your tail about twice as thick as you think you need. Pull your tail fibers off one side of the stem and secure to the hook. Now you have a blood quill that has fibers on one side. For the body tie the quill in by the tip and wrap twords the eye of the hook. Take care not to trap any fibers with you wraps. Tie off at the head and your almost done.
You can dub a collar behind the bead or just whip finish and glue. I have been using Hairline’s Ice Dub for a collar. Claret, olive and pink have all worked for me. Is the collar necessary? It’s hard to tell, so dont worry if you dont put a collar on your fly.
This is a great pattern that begs for you to change its colors. I am a big fan of natural colors that match baitfish but experiment with some different colors and let us know how it works!