After a couple of years of tying, I was drawn to learn how to weave. It seemed easy enough…..until I tried! It took me some time to learn, but now my box is full of these bugs! They are a durable fly that catch fish! They are built like a rock, so they sink fast. The other reason I like these bugs is that there are an endless amount of variations to this fly. It can be built like a caddis, stonefly, cranefly, or whatever else you can think of. Please see the pics of some of our favorites variations!
A quick story on this fly, I had been tying this fly and trying it out for a year or so before I finally decided to really give the fly a try on my local river. The day ended up with two 20″+ browns making their way into my net (along with many other fish!). I have caught a lot of fish on this river, but nothing over 20″. It was a memorable day, and I often start the day off with a version of this fly!! (see video below to see story and fish caught with woven nymphs!!)
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.
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.
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
Tungsten nymphs are superior in most fly fishing situations. The Piggly Wiggly Imitator is no exception. The pink anodized bead, and the pink rib work together to attract trout year round.
On a cold January afternoon Kohler and I were fishing the lower Provo and having a tough time sticking fish. We were filling through our boxes and trying fly after fly for a few hours without much success. Toward the end of our allotted time to fish Kohler pulled out a fly that neither of us had ever fished, an unnamed jig style nymph with an anodized pink tungsten bead. For the next 30 minutes the fly was rarely found outside a fishes mouth. As for the name of the fly, well for about a year it remained without a name, but eventually the name Piggly Wiggly stuck… not sure where it came from, but it stuck
Below is a quick film from that day on the Provo when the Piggly Wiggly came to be.
This is one of the quickest and easiest flies to tie. It also fishes well with a gold bead and a gold rib (essentially a gold ribbed hare’s ear). As jig hooks continue to gain popularity, especially amongst competition fly fishermen, it can be difficult to find quality jig hooks. This pattern is tied on a Fulling Mill Hook, but any jig hook in which you are confident will suffice. These hooks are tough and durable, and Kohler and I are very confident in their quality. Take just a few minutes, tie up a handful and give them a shot.