Tuesday Tutorial: John Barr’s Slumpbuster

John Barr could have stopped tying flies altogether and still be a legend with the invention of the Copper John. But for my money, his small streamers are also some of the best flies out as well. The slumpbuster is as simple as it comes to tie, and works in a number of situations. I like to pair them with a bugger or worm and dead drift them through holes in the spring in high water, and I love them on their own on the swing in the fall. The secret to the fly and what sets it apart from the bunny strip style is the pine squirrel hide that is used. The pine squirrel’s hair is a bit shorter than most rabbit, and stiffer as well, giving this fly a much more defined “dorsal” look over the flashy belly of the fly. Perfect little baitfish imitation that moves fish. Tie them in an eight or lower, in your favorite colors. I like olive and natural pine squirrel, though black is a go-to on a cloudy day in low light and water situations. Easy to tie and easy to toss, even if you’re out there with a smaller weight rod and they aren’t eating the dry. Can be just what the name implies. This tutorial from Ryan Keyes is a great example of a well-tied slump buster. Pick up some pine squirrel strips or a whole hide if you can get the pellet gun lined up just right, slap a hook in the vice and spin some of these bad larrys out pronto.


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