Tuesday Tutorial: Chubby Chernobyl

This pattern needs no introduction to the non-traditional anglers on most western rivers. As a mainstay of the box in a variety of colors, and shuttle bum will tell you this happens to be the most common fly stuck in a guide’s sun visor as well. Despite it’s popularity among guides as a fast-tying, fish-summoning workhorse, it hasn’t made the transition to other parts of the country, particularly the north east. Is there a place for a chunky piece of foam in the Catskill mountains? On the Battenkill, the Androscoggin, the Contoocook? Most definitely. Tying the chubby in a size 14 may be unheard of in most circles, but in the right colors still produces fish on skinny waters where smaller flies are the norm. Why? Who knows. Sure, it’s a half-breed stonefly and hopper pattern in the larger sizes, but in small sizes it can imitate caddis, smaller stone files, flying ants and a whole lot of other things that go plop on river systems and quickly fill trout bellies. Something about it’s low-riding belly and flashy tail combined with a water-repellant wing and shaking legs makes this thing pop as both an attractor pattern and a hatch matcher. Though it’s low riding, it is buoyant enough to support a dropper, which is a great way to scare up fish in all conditions. Get twisting, and check out this tutorial for the simple steps it takes to tie this winner.

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