The Bumble Bee

A simple hackled pattern for the ocean

The Bumble Bee on a heavy hook


This pattern was originally made one evening when I was tying with the Bananaflies. My friend Henning had some light SLF left over from one of his flies. I scavenged the SLF and started a fly on a heavy Tiemco hook. The tail was casually made from some natural bucktail that I had brought.
As the white SLF only reached a third of the hook shank. So I changed to some yellow Scintilla and the last third was covered with dark brown Scintilla. The fly was finished with a soft brown grizzly hen hackle.
Three salt water Bees
A smaller version with no tail

During some unproductive winter fishing for sea trout with the heavy fly I found it a bit on the rough side in the clear water. It did fine, but I wanted something a bit more discrete, but with the same attractice colors.
From this came the Bumble Bees shown above. These were tied on much smaller hooks. First with tails and later without. This version produced a couple of very small fish on a very calm winters day. I actually managed to spook a few fish on that day - a thing that only rarely happens with sea trout in the sea.
I like these soft hackle types of flies, and the Bumble Bee hasn't seen it's last trout - hopefully.

Small version
Tiemco TMC 700 size 2-4.
Partridge GRS12ST Nymph/emerger size 6
Thread Brown
Tail (optional) Bucktail
Body Dubbing; one third light/white, one third yellow, one third dark brown
Hackle Soft, brown, grizzly hen hackle
Head Thread

  1. Start the thread at the hook bend.
  2. Tie in a sparse tail of unstacked bucktail. It should be approx. same length as the shank.
  3. Dub a little less than one third of the body with light dubbing
  4. Follow by orange and brown dubbing. The body should be slightly tapered.
  5. Prepare a soft hen hackle
  6. Tie in tip first in classical wet fly style
  7. Wind the hackle 3-4 times
  8. Tie down and cut surplus
  9. Form a nice head from the tying thread
  10. Varnish

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