Hare & Herl Bugger - Phil's version


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Phil describes his best day flyfishing, ever


Peter's note: Phil, a student and flyfisherman from Germany emailed me last summer to say that he was planning on introducing some Hare & Herl Buggers to his local brown trout and greyling population.  We shared a couple of emails about fishing this fly (dead-drift versus swinging versus twitching). He then tied up a few, took them fishing, and emailed me a fishing report complete with a couple of nice pictures. He also sent along by regular mail a fresh sample of his beadhead version of the H&H Bugger, which I have photographed and included below


Thanks Peter!

I have to tell you that is one deadly pattern!

Went fishing at our local river yesterday...I started off with a small RS2 nymph and worked my way up to a washed out bend. That spot just looked so fishy that after I had gone through it with the RS2 without success, I tied on a little size 12 H&H Bugger with beadhead and tried again.

I cast it upstream and slightly across, just like I had done before, and let it drift past a willow through the bend. 2nd cast and my line was pulled upstream! My strike came a tad late (I was a bit surprised), but the fight was on none the less!  Long story short, I landed a beautiful 16 1/3 inch Brown with the Bugger solidly locked in the upper lip...My BEST TROUT on the fly yet! There might have been a little victory dance followed by an improvised photo session.

This river gets fished a lot since it's leased by the university I study at (Forest Sciences) and just about every student does some fishing there (mostly spinning though). This only added to my excitement!

The fly had taken a good beating and I replaced it with a size 14 bead head H&H bugger with a slightly darker tail. Now what followed has actually never happened to me before...I casted upstream, and as soon an the fly touched the water a fish jumped up in full speed, attacking the fly, missing only by millimeters. I waited for a minute and repeated the cast....same story, but the third time I could feel the fish and set the hook. This brown was smaller but put on a good fight in the current. My first 5 casts with the H&H Bugger : )

Now I don't know if the fly is just so good, or if the conditions yesterday were perfect, but I had a great day fishing. I hooked 2 more trout but lost them and then discovered a school of about 30 barbels just hanging out in the current behind a big rock. They didn't like the Bugger and were really quite picky, but a size 16 Mayfly nymph did the trick and I was lucky enough to land 3 of those hearty fighters. Two of them longer than half a meter (20 inches).

This was by far the best day flyfishing I've ever had!

Hope you like the pictures!

Best regards from Germany,



Hare & Herl Bugger - Phil's version

Photo by Peter Frailey

Tying Sequence:

Tail: Rabbit fur
Body: Peacock herl
Rib: Krystal flash
Collar: Hen hackle


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