This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Lightning Bug.
I recently added the Lightning Bug nymph to the Fly Patterns list on RiverKeeper Flies. As I searched for the original fly pattern and who developed it, I thought it would be a good candidate for a TBT fly.
I was surprised the Lightning Bug was over 20 years old. My how the time flies…
Sure, I’ve heard of it, but I didn’t know the fly had Northwest roots. Larry Graham of Kirkland Washington, developed the pattern in 1992 and finalized it in 1993. He was a guide on the Yakima River in Washington.
For a good read of the Lightning Bug history, go to Broadtail Fly Fishing blog where Larry’s friend Aaron Culley wrote a great history of the fly.
Larry utilized new materials at the time – brass beads, Flashabou, and pearlescent mylar – to develop his creative fly. The Flashback Pheasant Tail nymph may have influenced the Lightning Bug development as well.
Think about all the other new materials found on the typical fly tyer’s bench these days…holographic tinsel being one of those. Times have certainly changed.
Here is a version I tied the other day using red holographic tinsel and DMC embroidery floss for the tail.
Or another variation using red wire.
So tie up a few Lightning Bugs, the original version or your own color combination, and give ’em a try.