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!

 
Recipe:
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

Piggly Wiggly Imitator – Fly Tying Video

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.

Piggly Wiggly Fly Pattern

Hook: Fulling Mill Jig Hook – Size 14-16
Thread: Uni 8/0 Camel
Bead: Slotted Tungsten – Anodized Pink
Tail: CDC Natural
Body: Natural Squirrel
Rib: Pink Sulky Ribbon (from your local craft store)

Review of the Renzetti 2000 Presentation

When I first got into tying, I was lucky enough to have a father in law with an old vise to lend me.  This was good for me as my wife didn’t want to spend the money.  She kept telling me over and over again that she didn’t believe that I would stick to tying flies…. I had to show her!!  After a few months of tying, I had proved that I would stick with it and I started looking around at vices.  I was drawn to a Regal stainless steel jaws vice, as it looked like a vice of high quality, and the price looked great as well!  I was intrigued by the rotary vices, but I was hesitant because of the prices.  I ended up with the regal vice, and I loved it.  In the meantime, Gilbert ended up finding a Renzetti rotary vice.  I always joked around that I didnt need or want the rotary, but I was jealous!

I finally convinced my wife that I “had to have” the rotary vice.  I sold my regal and wound up buying the Renzetti Presentation 2000.  It is a great vice, and I keep wondering to myself why I didnt make this decision years ago!  I have been able to tie flies faster, and I will only get better at utilizing the rotary feature.

There is one thing that I had to do to get this particular vice working for me.  It comes standard with a ratcheting feature.  I did not like this at all.  It makes it so you can only rotate your flies one way.  It was already driving me crazy after one fly!  Luckily, this can be reversed.  There is a small black nut located on the very end on the outside of the big silver knob (see #1 on picture).  After loosening this screw, simply tighten the big silver screw that it screwed into, and then tighten the little black screw back up and the ratcheting feature will be disabled.  This will then allow you rotate your vice in either direction.

Another nice feature with this vice is the ability to change the angle of the jaws.  This will allow you to quickly change the angle as you switch between different sized hooks and maintain a level hook while using the rotary feature (see #2 on picture below).

The Jaws hold hooks without slipping.  I have tied some flies on hooks ranging from sizes 6-22, with only a quick adjustment of the screw on the end of the jaws before using the cam to lock the hook into place and I have not had any problems.

ren. presentation 2000
ren. presentation 2000

 

Overall, I love this new vice.  It is easy to tell after using it that it is a high quality vice.  If you have’t tied with a rotary vice, I highly recommend it.  It has helped me tie flies faster, with a higher quality.  Being able to rotate the fly around as you tie allows you to see the fly at all angles to ensure a good tie.  You will not be disappointed if you upgrade to this vice!

I look forward to tying many heavy, tungsten beads euro nymphs that are sure to catch many a fish!!!

Derek Kohler – (aka fish catcher)

 

 

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