Classic Video: How to Tie the Bugmeister

The Bugmeister is one of my favorite large dry flies because it floats well, even when you’ve dropped a beadhead nymph off the back of it, and it’s easy to see in rough water. The pattern was created by Missoula, Montana-based outfitter John Perry in the mid-80s and was, for a long time, the “secret weapon” of anglers in the region. But of course, nothing stays secret for very long when it works as well as the Bugmeister does. Click here a Missoulian story on Perry and his pattern.

In this instructional video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions offers a method for tying the fly that’s full of neat tricks. The way Flagler places the thread before each step is not a matter of convenience but of construction—for better securing and supporting the materials. The way he creates the post and hackle is ingenious and will make you reconsider the way you tie all your parachute flies. And when he pulls out the lead-free wire, stop the video and see if you can guess what he’s going to do with it. Then hit “play.” Were you right?

          Hook: 3X-long nymph hook (here a Dai-Riki #710), size 12.
          Thread: Olive, 6/0.
          Tails/underbody: Elk body hair, cleaned and stacked.
          Post: White polypropylene yarn.
          Body: Ginger rabbit dubbing.
          Underwing: Pearl Krystal Flash, 3 or 4 strands.
          Wing: Elk body hair, cleaned and stacked.
          Hackle: Golden straw dry-fly hackle.
          Thorax: Peacock herl.
          Adhesive: Head cement.
          Tools: Wide-mouth hair stacker, smaller stacker, piece of lead-free wire.
          Note: Change the colors to match the naturals.

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