Some time ago, we got a photo of an awesomely tied hellgrammite larva from Bob Anderson, one of our customers. It turned out to be that Bob is a fly tier with decades of experience and some super tying skills. He used this pattern very successfully with trout as well as bass. For his good-looking hellgrammite, he was using knotted goose biots for the legs. We have sent Bob some products to try, and here we have the result. His hellgrammite with a whole new set of legs! He was thrilled: ” I will definitely NOT be tying these anymore with knotted boot legs! Your legs cut 30-45 minutes from my tying time for each hellgrammite! Fantastic!”
We have asked Bob for his recipe and we bring to you – Bob’s Awesome-Looking Hellgrammite Larva:
“My hellgrammite pattern is not entirely my idea. I got the concept from Ted Niemeyer in a book titled The Second Fly- Tyer’s Almanac by Robert H. Boyle and Dave Whitlock. The original tie called for swannundaze for the abdomen and with each wrap of the swannundaze, you would tie in a pair of gills. I have modified the original pattern several times to what it is currently.
Here is the recipe:
- Hook: Size 2, 4, & 6 (I used a Daiichi Size 2 – 2220 4X Long)
- Tails: Two Black Goose Biots
- Gills at tail: Two dun ostrich plume tips, 1/8″ long
- Under Body: .030 lead wire tied to both sides of the hook & a 2nd piece of .030 lead attached to both sides only in the thorax area
- Abdomen: heavy dubbing of sheared beaver dyed a dark dirty brownish black with plenty of guard hairs, or try our ready-to-use Hemingway’s Beaver Dubbing in Brown
- Wing Cases: Black Duck wing covert feathers
- Thorax: wild turkey marabou
- Legs: Hemingway’s Realsitic Stonefly Nymph legs in Black, size Large
- Eyes: medium black mono eyes
- Pinchers: Black Goose Biots
The extra lead wire is attached to the outside of the first piece of lead to increase the width of the thorax area.
I use this pattern during April & May for trout in many of our larger streams, but it is also extremely effective on small-mouth bass as the season progresses and the bass becomes more active. Fish it very slow and on the bottom.”
So, there you have it. Now, it is up to you – give it a shot. And, don’t forget to share your success stories with us.
Happy tying & tight lines!