The Third Bug…..Revisited   Leave a comment

Hidy Ho Good Neighbors!

Last blog talked about the need and importance of the third bug.  I’m referring to the fly in your rig that is hooking most of the fish you are catching.  Where legal, throwing a 3 bug rig is very productive.  Like I mentioned last time, the first 2 bugs are the meat and potatoes and the 3rd bug is your rock star.  It’s even more important to find your “third bug” in a 2 bug drift where the fish only have 2 choices you can offer.

Let’s back up a bit.  My first dropper is typically a low riding nymph, such as a stone fly, larger mayfly nymph, worm pattern, or scud pattern, to name a few.  It’s a low riding, close to the bottom morsel that attracts as well as looks like a tasty meal.  I expect it to be consumed every trip out, or it gets the boot.  The second, or middle fly is usually a higher off the bottom drifting nymph, pupa or emerger.  It matches what is hatching or what I expect to hatch.  It can be any size or stage depending on bug activity or expected bug activity.  Typical 2nd bugs are, soft-hackles, pupa and emerger patterns (RSII’2, Barrs Emergers, Bead Head Soft Hackles, etc).  Winter time fishing will find midge larva (Black Beauty for example) in this position.

Now the third bug.  This bug is usually the highest off of the bottom in the drift (furthest from the weight) and is usually, not always, an emerger or pupa pattern. For more information on how I rig, pick up a copy of The Fly Fishers’ Playbook.  This bug needs to produce and produce well.  This bug is supposed to mimic the most prevalent bug coming off and should match the stage of what the fish are feeding on.  It’s the bug that during the fight with a hooked fish you just know the fish is on it.

Last blog I  wrote that I was looking for that bug.  I found it last week.  It was right under my nose…….It’s none other than the Chocolate Thunder, or the real name is a Brown RSII.  It’s an old Solitude pattern and has been fantastic for me for several years.  Quick and easy to tie, and very durable, this bug belongs in every box as a third bug.  I roll it in a size 18 or 20 virtually year-round.

I’m always looking for that third bug…….Most times it’s in your fly box!

Fear No Water!

Duane

Dream Thunder

Dream  Stream Thunder

Double Thunder

Double Thunder on the Eagle

The Third Bug

The Third Bug aka Chocolate Thunder

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