This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Denny Rickards Seal Bugger.
Denny created this fly in the mid-80’s on Oregon’s Upper Klamath Lake, his home waters. The fly is a variation of the popular Woolly Bugger.
I’d seen this fly years ago, but found it again in Rickards Fly-Fishing Stillwaters for Trophy Trout (1997). It’s the first fly listed in his “Deadly Dozen”. That should tell you something about how successful this fly can be. I love many of Denny’s flies and I highly recommend this book for your fly fishing library. It includes information and fly patterns like Denny’s Stillwater Nymph and Denny’s AP Emerger, two flies I use a lot. And he covers how to successfully fish lakes, which was very helpful to me as I branched out from being a river fisherman.
The fly can be tied in a variety of color combinations, but the picture above is my favorite, with the burnt orange tail and hackle. The other color I like is black with purple or burgundy hackle. It should be tied sparse to allow movement from the seal or seal substitute dubbing.
I fish this fly with an intermediate fly line and use the count-down method to locate trout. Cast a long distance and count to 10, which allows the fly to sink. Strip back using a variety of retrieves, short and rapid or long and slow. If you don’t get any takes, cast again and count to 15. Continue to experiment until fish are found.
Be sure to use at least 2x or 3x leader because you’ll get some violent strikes!
Denny Rickards Seal Bugger is still popular today and can be found in your local fly shop, or tie some up using the link to my fly pattern sheet.
To find out more about Denny Rickards, visit his website – www.flyfishingstillwaters.co
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