The Rug Fly

By Bernard Elser

One of my favorite dry flies, an all-season producer, is a workhorse that I affectionately named The Rug Fly. It represents a fluttering caddis and it's surprisingly easy to tie. This imitation is tied on a light wire shrimp / sedge hook. The fly's components consist of a dubbed fur body, strands of white polypropylene for an under-wing (which is topped with a few pheasant tail fibers), and a few turns of dry fly hackle to finish. To create a buggy effect, I tie in two different hackles, one brown and one grizzly. (For the under-wing, I originally used Antron carpet fibers, thus the fly's moniker!)

The Rug Fly is enticing because the curved sedge hook allows part of the body to dip below the water's surface, the poly under-wing (when treated with fly floatant) keeps the balance of the fly floating like a cork. You can also substitute white or gray Z-lon or Antron for the under-wing; both work well and add lifelike sparkle. The pheasant tail fibers form a tent-like caddis wing silhouette, and the hackle lets the fly dance across the water. When fished in fast-moving riffles, it's an irresistible treat! I've had trout slashing at The Rug Fly in streams across the country, from New Jersey's own Ken Lockwood Gorge to Montana's Madison. It's most tempting in sizes 12 through 20. ..give it a try!

Hook: Orvis # 1639 or Tiemco # 2487
Hook Size: 12 through 20
Thread: Brown or Olive, 6/0 pre-waxed nylon
Body: Gray or Olive Beaver Dubbing (from curve of hook, wrap 3/4ths up the hook shank toward the eye).
Under-Wing: Polypropylene, Z-lon, or Antron fibers (white or pale gray) tied in where dubbing stops. The under-wing should extend to the curve of the hook.
Over-Wing: 6 Pheasant tail fibers that cover the under-wing
Hackle: 2 Dry fly hackles - one brown, one grizzly.

Bernard Elser is co-author of Fundamentals of Building a Bamboo Fly Rod, to be published by W W. Norton and Company in the Fall of 1998. He welcomes any questions or comments, and may be reached at 66 Somerset St., Somerville, NJ 08876; or telephone (908) 704-8049.