Gambel’s Bugger

This is no ground breaking fly, nor is it all that much different from a normal leech or woolly bugger. This fly is more about what it is made from opposed to what it is supposed to replicate. Not to say that this fly isn’t a bang up impersonation of leeches found all over Arizona’s small streams and lakes. These buggers are tied using the breast and flank feathers from a Gambel’s Quail hen shot by Kayla’s stepdad on our new German Shorthair’s second quail outing.

It seems only fitting to after taking one of these wily desert birds to use its feathers to go after the spooky desert fish that live in those out of the way spots in Arizona.

What I Used:

  • Size 8 2X Long Streamer Hook
  • Bead head, dealers choice on the color
  • Brown thread
  • Non-lead wire (for weight)
  • AZ Dubbing Green/Black
  • Quail flank and breast feather
Flank feather, the brown upper section will be used for the collar, while the lower downy part will be used in the tail
Bead head on and a short wrap of non-lead wire
Breast feathers and the lower section of the flank feather will be used as the tail
Secure the tail with firm wraps and make a loop for dubbing
Black/green dubbing loop will wrap all the way to the front of the hook behind the bead
Wrap dubbing loop tightly and bring to the bead
Secure loop and comb fibers back towards the tail
Secure the flank feather behind the bead
Using hackle pliers wrap the feather until out of room and tie off securely
Separate any feather strands that remain stuck together
Finished fly, all thats left is a whip finish

While I know quail feathers are not always the most available commodity, if you do get your hands on some and want to wrap up a couple flies, this is a quick, fun tie!

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