Rainbow Sow Bug Fly Tying Video

Build a Better Sow Bug

In this video there are tips on tying a quick, durable sow bug fly pattern that imitates one of trout’s favorite foods. Learn how to tie a sow bug that will get down quickly, and stick fish after fish.

The craziest thing about sow bugs is if you can find one, you’ll find a million! There are a few rivers that I fish that are chucked full of these little pill bug look alikes. Trout always seem to grow big and fat when their diet consists of sow bugs.

Sow Bug - Fly Fishing Entomology

A few years ago on a very memorable spring morning I found myself with two of my good fishing friends Brad and Phil. We were fishing one of our favorite River here in Utah which is know for its thick sow bug population as well as a healthy population of brown trout with some nice Bonneville cutthroat scattered throughout. We hadn’t been fishing long when we came upon a beautiful pocket that was bound to hold fish. Phil began by pulling out a nice brown, but with a good portion of the hole left to fish he stood aside and let me take a cast. Now that’s a good friend! Moments later I pulled out a snakey 19″ brown that despite being skinny put up a good fight. The hole was producing well! Phil then hopped back in  and pulled out another decent brown, and once again was kind enough to stand aside and let me take another stab at it. The very next cast I found myself hooked up on the nicest river cutthroat I have ever caught. A beautiful 22″ cuttie with shoulders came zipping out of the hole and tried to head down stream. Moments later, and just like the 19″ brown I had caught only a few cast before, I saw that it was my size 14 Rainbow Sow Bug that was tucked tight in the corner pocket of the fish’s jaw.

Sow Bug Caught Brown Trout
Utah Fly Fishing Cutthroat Trout

I highly recommend you give this fly pattern a shot. I’m overly confident in it’s ability to catch fish, and as a bonus its a quick tie that won’t fall apart on you. Tie some up!

Hook: Any scud hook (Tiemco 2488, Daiichi 1150, Dai-Riki 135)
Thread: 70 Denier Fl. Pink UTC
Rib: Small gold wire
Blood Line: Black Flashabou
Dubbing: Rainbow Sow-Scud
Preferred Sizes: 14-18

Mayfly-Fly Fisherman’s Favorite Bug

Within a quarter mile from where I live runs the Logan River. Despite the crazy number of mosquitos that appear each summer, there are many pro’s to living near a great trout stream. There is the obvious quick stroll to river for an evening of fishing, but also for a nerdy fly fisherman who likes bugs (well, the kind of bugs that fish eat) I enjoy the reappearance of certain insects each spring. I think my neighbors think I’m a little nuts for walking around my house with my camera taking pictures of what must look like the exterior walls of my house, but it’s actually awesome tiny critters that I’m shooting. Here are some of my favorite shots from the past couple springs. Let me know which is your favorite in the comment section below.



Blue Wing Olive-Green




Rod Reflections-Mayfly




Mayfly Meet SAGE








IMG_7618 - Version 2


If you don’t mind, leave the number of your favorite pic in the comment section below.




Bugs of the Summer Season

With water temps warming up many of most fly fishers favorite bugs are becoming active. Currently on the middle Provo near where I live we have the infamous green drake (pictured above) hatch taking place. This hatch only hangs around for a few weeks out of the year. The large majestic mayflies seem to rise every fish in the river at one time or another. Masked by the drakes are many other hatches. These hatches may include PMDs, golden stones, and caddis flies depending on the day.  Trout love these hatches because it means a water column filled with wriggling emerging insects and an abundance of adults on the water’s surface, both of which are accompanied by the greedy unquenchable appetite of trout. Similarly, we as anglers share this unquenchable lust, only ours is to catch the trout, not the bugs which they are after.

Having said that, an understanding of basic aquatic entomology has helped me in many instances. I’ll be the first to admit that trout have fooled me more times than I have fooled them, especially in hatch conditions. Below are a few resources that I believe to be handy in solving these deceptive mysteries:

Aquatic Entomology Diagrams (Mayflies, Stoneflies, Caddis, and Midges)

Photo gallery of bugs that fish eat (Aquatic and Terrestrial)

Nothing compensates for time spent looking at the tiny creatures fish call food. Learn to recognize the major aquatic insects, spend a little time behind the vise tying the right imitations for the season, and you will increase your odds of fooling the many trout which you seek.

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