Genner Bug

Published May 17th 2013

This is a fly invented because of the good supply of nice mallard feathers brought to a trip by German American friend Paul Kalbrener.


Genner Bugs

The name of this fly comes from the name of its birthplace, Genner Bugt or Genner Bay, in the southern part of Denmark. It was obvious to just shorten the name to become a bug.
There's absolute nothing original or innovative about it. On the contrary: it's super simple and has probably been tied in a gazillion variations before. Actually, when I posted a picture of it on our common internal web site where we put in all our trip reports and images, another good friend and GFF contributor, Ken Bonde Larsen, immediately commented that he had seen this fly on the web just days before.

No, when in comes to fly tying as so much else, there isn't much new under the sun.

Nevertheless this fly was invented, uninspired by anything I had seen, during a nights fly tying session after a fishing day at exactly Genner Bay. A good steak dinner, wine, coffee and a Tallisker or two, set the fantasy off, and the beautiful mallard feathers that Paul brought had to be used for something.
I remembered the Kevin Kleinman's Double K Reverse Spider, a radically different fly, sporting a dubbed body and a couple of forward pointing hackles, one of them mallard, and thought I'd do something as simple but a little more streamlined. I always loved mallard feathers, and Paul's stock of large and regular feathers called out for something with a long and sweeping hackle. with so much else, there isn't much new under the sun.

So hook in the vise, a little weight, dubbing and a hackle, and voila! I actually liked what I saw. A few more tied with different colors of dubbing and thread, and I had a whole collection.

Step 1 - weight - Add a few wraps of weighted wire on the front third of the hook shank
Step 1 - weight
Step 2 - secure - Secure the wire with some tight turns of thread, ending up at the hook bend
Step 2 - secure
Step 3 - dub - Dub the thread sparsely with some long fibered flash dubbing
Step 3 - dub
Step 4 - body - Form a slender, tapered body over the wire, leaving a bit of space in front for the hackle
Step 4 - body
Step 5 - mallard feather - Select a fairly long barbed mallard feather. The barbs can easily be twice the hook length
Step 5 - mallard feather
Step 6 - prepare the feather - Grab the tip of the mallard feather and stroke back the barbs except for a few in the tip
Step 6 - prepare the feather
Step 7 - tie in the feather - Tie in the feather at the tip, shiny and curved side out.
Step 7 - tie in the feather
Step 8 - feather ready - Bend back the tips, secure with a couple of thread wraps and cut off the tip. The feather is ready to be wrapped
Step 8 - feather ready
Step 9 - prepare for wrapping - Pull the stem up, and stroke back the barbs with moist fingers to have them sweep back over the body once you start wrapping
Step 9 - prepare for wrapping
Step 10 - hackled - Once you have wrapped 3-4 turns of hackle, you can secure the stem with a single thread wrap or two and cut off the surplus feather
Step 10 - hackled
Step 11 - pull back the barbs - Pull the barbs back over the body to make room for tying the head
Step 11 - pull back the barbs
Step 12 - head - The head can be tied back over the barbs to press them down and give a slender shape to the fly. Whip finish and cut the thread.
Step 12 - head
Step 13 - a rough treatment - Use a small brush to comb through the hackle and the dubbed body to create a uniform cover over the hook shank
Step 13 - a rough treatment
Step 14 - varnish - Varnish the head
Step 14 - varnish
Step 15 - ready - The fly is done and ready to fish
Step 15 - ready

Genner Bug
TypeCold saltwater fly
Martin Joergensen
Year of origin
Very easy
Target species
Sea trout (sea run)

HookStinger hook size 8-10-12
WeightHeavy wire, lead substitute
Thread8/0 to suit dubbing (or simply black)
BodyFlash dubbing (green, red, copper, peacock or what color suits you)
HackleNatural mallard, long fibers
HeadTying thread

The next day I was fishing from the beach casting over a deep part of Genner Bay, and lo and behold! A fish liked the green variation, and the fly was baptized.

As I said: nothing that will shatter the fly tying community and nothing that will go down in history as a classic, but a fly that I have already produced more of and will happily tie on my tippet on many coming coastal trips. I have done a number of variations with different colors, and keeping the natural mallard and varying the thread and dubbing gives you an endless but very simple way of subtly changing the appearance of this fly.

Inspired by...

Varying the color
It's not exactly rocket science, but here's an example of a copper/red variation.
Red thread - Using red thread as the base of a red Genner Bug variation
Red thread
Red dubbing - The dubbing can be red or copper, which are very effective and popular colors for sea trout flies
Red dubbing
And mallard - The mallard is the same subtle colors as mallard is: grey and dull tan
And mallard
The red variation - Another variation ready to leave the vice and try to lure a fish
The red variation

User comments
From: Pit · alepitrenz·at·  Link
Submitted November 15th 2013

THANKS A GREAT FLY, I just picked up some of These feathers on my riverbank and used them to bind a handfull of variations . They look great they jigg great and I will try them as perch flies

thight lines


From: Paul Kalbrener · PHKalbrener·at·  Link
Submitted May 17th 2013

Thanks Martin:-)

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