Tuesday Tutorial: John Barr’s Slumpbuster

These days when we talk streamers in western Montana, most of the flap is about big, double hook articulated monster flies that scare as many fish as they catch. The streamer fiends and Kelly Galloup disciples love big and gaudy, and they post the fish pics to back up their devotion. But there are many more applications for a smaller streamer than just tossing it hard at the banks and stripping it back, and when it comes to effective smaller patterns, John Barr’s Slumpbuster is hard to beat. John Barr’s nymph patterns are some of the most well known and effective flies out there but his tying skills go far beyond the creation of the Copper John. The Slumpbuster is a winner. I like to fish this fly in much the same way as the wooly bugger: dead drifting, swinging, strip retrieve, all of the above. It is particularly effective in those plunge pools behind rapids and drop offs, and in the shelves that runoff creates in washed out banks. Tying this fly is a simple process as well, though it does require a few special materials that are widely available. Squirrel hide was tough to find for a bit, but seems to be around in some of the shops more often lately. This tutorial from Tightlines should get you started on the next batch of fish-finders with ease.

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