The Humpy is one of those classic patterns that’s been around so long that there are several different stories of its origin, but most credit tier Jack Horner, who created the attractor pattern in the early 1940s for the tumbling freestone streams of his native Northern California. (Here’s a pretty good history.) The fly was so effective for trout that it has become wildly popular across the West and anywhere else trout live in broken water.
In this great video from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, he walks you through his steps for creating a small (size 16) version of this buggy fly. This is a lot of material to get on such a small hook, but as usual, Tim’s famous troubleshooting skills win the day. The way he uses a dubbing underbody to keep the hair in place, creates the body with Uni Stretch, and wraps rearward when attaching the elk hair are truly ingenious.
Hook: 1X-long dry-fly hook (here a Dai-Riki #300), size 16.
Thread #1: Yellow, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Underbody: Yellow rabbit-fur dubbing.
Tail: Moose body hair, cleaned and stacked.
Wings: Elk hair, cleaned and stacked.
Back: Elk hair, cleaned and stacked.
Body: Bright Yellow Uni-Stretch.
Thread #2: Yellow, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Hackle: Brown and grizzly hackle, slightly undersize.
Adhesive: Head cement.