Bob's Hellgrammite Larva

Bob Anderson’s Awesome Hellgrammite Larva

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.”


Soldarini Goose Biots - Black
Goose Biots in Black
Realistic Soft Legs - Black
Realistic Soft Legs – Black
Hemingway's Beaver Dubbing Plus
Beaver Dubbing in Black

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!

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