Here is the fly pattern sheet for the Lightning Bug.

The original Lightning Bug version with a copper rib.

Lightning Bug - Red Wire |

A Lightning Bug variation with a red rib.

Lightning Bug - Red Body |

A Lightning Bug variation with red tinsel, and silver wire.




Daiichi 1560, Dai Riki 060, TMC 3761, #12 – 18


8/0 black


Gold or silver


Pheasant tail


Copper or silver wire – small


Pearlescent mylar – medium or silver tinsel


Peacock herl


Pearl tinsel – large 


Hen back fibers – brown


  1. Place bead on hook.
  2. Start thread behind bead.
  3. Tie in tail, using 4 to 6 pheasant tail fibers which should be hook shank in length.
  4. Tie in wire for rib at hook barb.
  5. Tie in body material and wind forward with overlapping wraps.
  6. Counter-wrap wire rib with 5 or 6 evenly spaced wraps and tie off.
  7. Tie in wingcase.
  8. Tie in peacock herl and wrap forward.
  9. Select 4 – 5 fibers for legs and tie in on each side.
  10. Pull wingcase forward and tie off with 3 or 4 thread wraps. Pull wingcase backwards and add a couple more thread wraps to secure. Trim wingcase.
  11. Whip finish and trim thread.

Note: There are many variations to the Lightning Bug. Substitute Peacock Ice Dub for real peacock in the thorax. Or try purple holographic tinsel for the body. Use pheasant tail fibers for legs. Are you a steelhead fly fisher? Tie it on a size 6 hook and use it as a dropper. Need more color ideas? Check out my Copper John Rainbows.