Add some touch to your sows
A few months back I was able to share the stream with ol' Beardy McBeardface AKA Brandon who now works at the shop with us. As we started to nymph up a run or two, we realized that the fishing was maybe a little bit off from what it normally is, so we had to put our game faces on... I should say that Brandon put his game face on, and I kept messing with some experimental patterns here and there. Brandon tied on what is arguably one of the best types of flies for rivers in our area - the good ol' sow bug - and he was rewarded with some great fish! Once my ego was in check, I even took one from him and made some rod bendo out of it. I hadn't caught a fish on a sow bug for a long long time before this, but it's not because they don't work... I had just overlooked such a simple bug in lieu of more complicated, busy flies. Simple works. It was time to hit the vise.
Since that time, I have had kind of a new found respect for these delicious little bottom dwellers, and I've tied like infinity of them for our shop bins. As I tied them, I was looking for the ultimate way to tie them quickly, yet keep the same effectiveness that a good sow pattern has. Brandon and I stayed late one night and spun up a bunch of sow dubbing brushes, and that helped the process, but the fibers were a bit too long off the brush and needed a lot of TLC while wrapping a vein line and ribbing. A few days later, I broke out the coffee grinder and went to work on a touch dub recipe that I think really maximizes the time you spend at the vise. Anyway, in the video you will see how simple this bug is to tie, all you need is a coffee grinder, dubbing, wire, and a bit of wax.
Note: Feel free to make your own dubbing blends to match the bugs in your local water. Also, red, orange, brown, and pink all make great thread color choices for the heads. You can either make the vein line to match the color of thread, or you can keep it kind of dark -I prefer to keep the vein line pretty dark (red, brown, black, wine, etc.). Also, It's probably easiest to source your own markers for this one, so I recommend the fine pointed sharpies.
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Hook: Daiichi 1550 - Standard Wet Fly Hook - 16
Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread - 70 Denier - Wine
Dubbing: Sow Dub - Light Gray
Dubbing: Ice Dub - Callibaetis
Rib: UTC Ultra Wire - Silver - Small
Other tools / alternate materials from the tutorial: