Friday, April 30, 2010

Frank Sawyer's Killer Bug

Frank Sawyer's original Killer Bug is a very simple pattern tied with only two materials, red wire and yarn.  This scud or shrimp imitation takes on a completely different look when wet.  The original pattern called for Chadwick's yarn (color 477) which was a tan color with some pinks and browns in it.  Long since discontinued, the original material is no longer available.  Somewhere I have a three foot length of the original yarn but could never bring myself to use it.  Recently I found a reproduction of this yarn produced by Veniard.  I will have to dig up that original strand and compare it to this new product.  From the photos I found of both products, the original has that pinkish, tan, gray, brown coloration that the new product doesn't seem to capture.  But photos can be deceiving so I will reserve judgement until I can lay them side by side.
If you want to see a side by side comparison of three flies tied with three different yarns including the two above click on this post in the Fly Fishing Forums.  If these photos are correct there is not much difference between the three once the flies are wet.  A friend of mine recently posted about this fly on his blog Fly and Fin and recently I watched an Oliver Edwards DVD were he tied and fished the pattern.  So I decided to tie up a few myself.   I tried to follow Frank Sawyer's instructions to the letter including using two layers of wire and three layes of yarn, tying the fly off at the rear instead of the front.  
Bottom line...none of this makes a difference.  All this nonsense about materials doesn't matter.  Tie some grayish, pinkish tan yarn with brown high lights on to a hook and go fishing!  It's a simple pattern that works very well. 
 This fat rainbow could not tell the difference in the yarn colors either!

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