Sow bugs (Isopoda) are not found in every river, but when they are present you can bet the fish love them. The rainbow sow bug is my favorite variation, and has produced very well for me on every river I fish that is home to sow bugs. This is a simple pattern that has only a few steps and materials involved. Don’t let the simpleness of this pattern fool you. Tie, try, and simplify your ways of catching fish with sow bugs.
Step by Step
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Wrap lead on hook shank.
Start thread in front of lead and cover a good portion of the lead with the thread.
Using hemostats, smash lead flat on the hook to flatten the overall profile of the fly. The extra wraps of thread keep the lead from crumbling off the hook.
Tie in the black flash lined up with the top of the hook. Tie in the wire on the far side of the hook.
Loosely apply the dubbing to the thread.
Dub the entire length of the hook not crowding the eye.
Pull the black flash directly over the top of the fly and tie off.
Wrap wire four of five times over the dubbing and tie off behind the eye. Wrap tightly since this will keep the fly intact.
Whip finish once, but don’t cut the thread yet.
Using velcro, pick out the dubbing generously.
While holding the dubbing away from the fly, cut dubbing from each side of the fly making the fly appear rectangular.
Whip finish once more, apply head cement, and the fly is finished.
Hook: Any scud hook (Tiemco 2488, Daiichi 1150, Dai-Riki 135)
Thread: Red 8/0
Rib: Small gold wire
Center Strip: Black Flashabou
Dubbing: Rainbow Sow-Scud
Preferred Sizes: 14-16