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Yuk Bug
Illustrated Recipe by Moose Peterson

The Yuk Bug is a new fly tier's best friend! I say this tongue in cheek because I've found the uglier you make it the better it fishes. It's just a modified Woolly Bugger so whipping out a bunch n a short time is a snap. Like any woolly bugger, you can mix and match colors to meet local fishing demands. This fly was tied on a size #10.

Materials List: Yuk Bug

    Hook: 2-8 TMC 5263.

    Weight: .25 weight wrap.

    Thread: Black 3/0.

    Tail: Gray squirrel.

    Body: Black chenille, medium.

    Rib Hackle: Grizzly.

    Legs: White rubber legs, medium.

Tying the Yuk Bug

1. Start by wrapping on the weight. I start nearly at the back of the shank (leaving just enough room to tie in the tail) and wrap forward, leaving just enough room to tie off the body and make a head. Once the weight is attached, start your thread; wrap back to cover the weight, giving the chenille a solid base and finish at the back of the shank.

2. Tie in the tail. Select squirrel hair so you have at least two colors, the white tips and gray and/or red. The tail is a tad longer than traditionally used on the corresponding hook size. Tie in with a couple of wraps, trim so the hair butts up against the weight and then finish off tying in the tail. Make sure your wraps are tight!

3. Strip a little of the chenille of its base thread (to reduce bulk at tie in point) and tie in the chenille onto the wraps of the tail. You have the options of black, olive or brown chenille. Black & olive produce well in the Eastern Sierra, never had a taker on brown. Select the appropriate length hackle, strip off a little and tie onto the shank where the chenille is tied in. The hackle can be grizzly, olive grizzly or ginger. Tying a couple variations sure can't hurt!

4. This is where the Yuk Bug takes on its personality. As you can see from the illustrations, I tie in the rubber legs in a number of different ways. This is so the legs go in all directions. Some tie in just three sections, making 6 legs with them going out to the sides like traditional looking legs. The first Yuk Bug I saw had eight legs/4 sections of rubber going every which way. That's what I tied and what I've caught fish on. It's this willy-nilly look of the legs that I thought gave the fly its name. I leave extra length at this point to the legs, which I trim later.

5. With some care, wrap the chenille forward. Work the chenille amongst the rubber legs so the legs point perpendicular to the hook shank. You can pull the legs around to some extent to change how they are laid out on the fly. This is done to taste.

6. Wrap hackle forward with the same care as the chenille. Work it amongst the rubber legs, tie off and create head.

7. I then cut the rubber legs to various lengths, making sure they're never longer than the corresponding hackle height. The rubber legs are to add motion to the fly so don't cut them too short. With that done, it's ready to take to the water!

Photographic note:

Photos captured by Nikon D1H, 60f2.8AF Micro with SB-29s flash on Lexar digital film. ~ Moose

About Moose:

Moose is a professional wildlife photographer, and obviously a fine fly tyer, who lives in Mammoth Lakes, CA. He has an extensive website to furnish wildlife photographers with information to make the most of their photographic pursuits. You will find it at:

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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