Tying the Slumpbuster

Here in Vermont, we’re suffering through one of the wettest Aprils in memory. Combined with the huge snowpack we had, all this rain has pushed the rivers up into the trees. As I drive along the Battenkill every morning on my way to work, thinking about how I’m going to approach the river once it becomes even marginally fishable, I picture big, ugly, commotion-creating streamers. Anglers in the Midwest and in parts of the Rockies are facing similar conditions, trying to deal with too much water.

John Barr’s Slumpbuster is just the kind of meaty offering that will cause a trout to take notice, even in high or off-color water. The squirrel collar pushes a lot of water, the tail exhibits lifelike motion, and the gold cone adds weight and flash. What else could you want in a high-water streamer? You can read about even more features, as well as John Barr’s rationale in creating the pattern, in this excerpt from his book, Barr Flies.


The Slumpbuster has a big profile and plenty of action in the water.

photo by Charlie Craven from the book Barr Flies

Hook: Tiemco 5263, sizes 4 through 12.
Thread: Olive Ultra Thread, 70-denier.
Cone: Gold tungsten, size 4–6 (large), size 8–10 (medium).
Rib: Chartreuse Ultra Wire.
Body: Peacock Sparkle Braid.
Wing/Tail: Olive pine squirrel.
Collar: Olive pine squirrel.

One thought on “Tying the Slumpbuster”

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Flies for Western Canada | Orvis News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *