I wrote a post about Chubby Chernobyl fly patterns flies a couple of years ago. Did you read it? This is the time of year when you should have them in you fly box and another opportunity for me to tout how effective Chubby Chernobyl flies can be.

Chubby Chernobyl Golden Stone Bottom | www.johnkreft.com

For some reason, the Chubby Chernobyl is a great imitation for the Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies hatching right now. I remember seeing this fly many years ago and saying to myself “you’ve got to be kidding”! Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the fly’s success.

I talked about the Chernobyl Ant, the forerunner of the Chubby Chernobyl, as one of my Throw Back Thursday Flies. (For more history of the Chernobyl Ant, click HERE.)

Chernobyl Ant | www.johnkreft.com

The Chernobyl Ant was made famous by Jack Dennis during the Jackson Hole 1-Fly Contest several years ago. Needless to say, it was so successful at catching fish, the fly pattern quickly spread.

As with many fly patterns, “variants” is a different word for someone saying “I’ve got an idea – if I add some dubbing to the fly…” and behold, another fly pattern is born.

So tie these up using orange bodies to imitate Salmonflies or golden orange to imitate the Golden Stoneflies. And don’t forget how effective a purple Chubby Chernobyl can be. Why? I have no clue…just don’t leave home without them! (Be sure to read my Purple Flies post.)

Chubby Chernobyl Purple|www.johnkreft.com

Other effective Chubby Chernobyl flies can be tied to imitate hoppers as well. Just change the body color using shades of tan and yellow. Hoppers begin small and grow throughout the season, so tie them in different hook sizes.

Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies are out in force. I hope you find out how effective Chubby Chernobyl flies can be. I think I better sit down at the fly tying vise and tie up a few more!

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Hi John, great job on the blog. Its one of the few that I enjoy checking out from time to time and I find our fly choices are often similar. The recent post on the Fly Fishing Central Oregon Facebook made me chuckle quite a bit I must say. I started fishing the purple chubby in May 2011 and since then it has accounted for the majority of my Lower Deschutes redsides during the salmonfly hatch and dozens of “tricky” Metolius trout. More importantly, hundreds of customers that were kind enough to take our advice on fly selection have come back into the shop to buy more when the chubby did the trick. Undoubtedly, there are many great flies to fish during the hatch (I love throwing a #10 Clark’s Stone) but when I head to the river for the next two days the #8 purple chubby on 3x will bring home the bacon. Keep up the good work!

    1. Paul

      Thanks for the nice comments! Happy to hear you read my RiverKeeper Flies posts from time to time. I’ve always said I’d like to be a trout for a day so I could come back and explain things like “why I like purple flies”.


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