Published Mar 28. 2009 - 15 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 19. 2019

The Simplest Fly

“What is this” “A fly!” “What kind of fly” “Well, this is a fly that imitates a beetle” The fly that he showed me then was really huge one, may be about 2 - 2,5 centimeters or almost and inch in diameter. “Wow, why is it so big?” “Because I am an old man, I can not see well”

The simplest fly - Another view of the ready fly.
The Simplest Fly
Radoslav Kiskinov

Well, the story of this fly begins somewhere in the 1980's, when I didn't know what fly tying nor fly fishing was.
In Sandanski, the town where I was born, most of the fishermen used to fish with floats and natural bait.

It was a hot august afternoon, a fishing day on the Struma river - my home river. I was still a young boy who was walking by the river bank with a telescopic rod and a box of worms in his pocket looking to catch something.

Then for first time I saw him, the old man with the strange “walking stick”. He was about seventy years old, standing in the shallows besides the river bank and was fishing with his short rod looking much like a walking stick.
I was highly impressed with the way he was fishing. His fishing rod was nothing else but a short bamboo rod, not longer than 1,5 meters or 5 feet quite thin and light but very strong. He had tied a few meters of monofilament line to the top of the rod and on the end of the line was the fly.
The fishing method that he used was very quick and effective. He looked like a conductor who was leading the orchestra. He was waving with his baton and the fly fished in very quick and short casts.
The first second or so the fly was just bumping the surface of the water and in the next second the chub was on the grass behind his back. This old man was like a machine. Till that day I had never seen such fisherman catching fish after fish.

When I came closer, I asked him very kindly to show me the bait he used, I was impressed by the simplicity of the creation that I saw. It was just a piece of a burned cork on a treble hook.
Nothing else.

When I asked him “What is this”, he looked straight at my eyes and told me with his hoarse voice:
“A fly!”.
“What kind of fly” I Kept on with my questions, not thinking clearly. I had never seen artificial flies before.
“Well, this is a fly that imitates a beetle”.
The fly that he showed me then was really huge one, may be about 2 - 2,5 centimeters or almost and inch in diameter.
“Wow, why is it so big?” - was my next question.
“Because I am an old man, I can not see well”
He was laughing...
In fact, as he told me after that, the point was the bigger the fly, the bigger the chub that will chase it.

Now let me show you the way it is “tied”.
You do not need any vice, tread or tying tools. You can make this fly while sitting around the table with friends and drinking wine. All you need is a treble hook, a knife, aneedle, a piece of cork (you may use the cork from a bottle of wine) and a lighter.

All you need - Knife, cork, needle and lighter. And a hook.
Materials gff
Radoslav Kiskinov
The Simplest Fly
Pattern type: 
Dry fly
Cork, like from a wine bottle
Treble, appropraite size
Skill level/difficulty: 
Very easy
See the images below

Step 1 - cork ready

Step 2 - burn mother*beep*, burn!

Step 3 - hook

Use it like a dry fly for big chub fishing.



I made a couple of t...

I made a couple of these just out of curiosity and used a single hook Kamasan B175 size 14. Just made a groove and superglued the cork onto the hook. Well, they've been sat in my fly box for quite a while now, and I had a very frustrating day at a reservoir here in England a few days ago, so I thought what the hell....................30 mins later I had 3 rainbow trout upto 3lbs. All I can say is cheers Radoslav. Brightened up a somewhat frustrating day. Many thanks for the simplest fly I've ever made.

I love the simplic...

I love the simplicity of this fly! I would like to see it in a single hook style. I seem to recall a single hook that was made with another piece that was bent from the bend of the hook back toward and finishing in a point behind the eye. There was only a couple mm between the main shaft and the upper one. Finishing the body as described then adding a small groove on the underside of the cork and the addition of a small amount of cement would provide the stability that the bottom two hooks of the treble gives the original.

Just an idea from a former tyer unable to indulge due to a stroke. Love the site.

Would make a great "...

Would make a great "guide fly" for bass or pickerel as you could make up extra bodies and replace them on the treble hook as the fish tear them up. This could save money on hooks. Pretty sure Mustad wouldn't agree!

Hello, This would...


This would also work well for redhorse, sunfish, and even smallmouth bass. All are quite curious, and forage heavily on insects that have fallen from the trees. Just find an area where these fish are likely to gather, and slam the fly a small distance from their holding places. As long as it doesn't land too close to them, they tend to race over to investigate. Once the race is on, the first one there (often the largest) will generally take it.

I love the simplicity of this fly. It is genius, and thank you for sharing it.

Best wishes,

P.S. I appreciate Che's goals, if not his means, and like the lighter.

In Serbia fly fishin...

In Serbia fly fishing for chub is very popular. Particualy I started fly fishing because of this fish. In south-eastern part of country they use something similar to your fly but little more difficult to tie.
Fly is usualy made from balsa wood on hooks size 14 to 8. First you make thread base, than make "water drop" shaped body of balsa and cut a channel on under side. Than you sholud drop super glue on hook and put balsa body so that first 1/3 of hook (near eye) stays empty. When glue dryes you can fill channel on underside with 5 min epoxy resine and when it hardens you should paint balsa with some colour (nail polish is OK but you will need 3 layers). Wait until colour is dry and than put some polypropilene for indicator (this is optional), and after that tie some feather for hackle (you can use partridge, because balsa keep it floating).
It is important that you cast this fly hard on water surface so that it makes splash in order to call chub for lunch.

You can get MUSTAD 3...

You can get MUSTAD 3551 trebles down to size 14 at Jann's Netcraft.

If you're using a inch diameter chunk of burned cork, you might try putting a tail on it. It would great for bass and pike, representing a succulent mouse to them.

rado you could even ...

rado you could even use a single hook for this fly and you could split the cork in the middle tie a few partridge fibers in tie off put the cork on fire like you did then put the cork on the hook and glue it down

I used to make a sim...

I used to make a similar "fly" using a piece of balsa wood or a piece of a foam earplug to fish for smaller creek chubs in Pennsylvania.

Viva Che!

Perhaps even a Stali...

Perhaps even a Stalin or Bush lighter?

Martin Joergensen's picture

Anonymous, People...


People posting unjustified critical comments anonymously disgust me even more!
If you have an opinion be man enough to put your name behind it!

PS: Love the Che lighter and would have found an Adolf lighter even more hilarious.


So what's with the C...

So what's with the Che lighter? Were they out of Adolph Hitler lighters? You disgust me.

The small trebles ar...

The small trebles are used by scandinavian fishemen when the fish in the holes in ice during the winter. Try some email shops in Sweden, the have trebles down to #16.

Hi, I am happy yo...


I am happy you like the fly.
The efect of it is the best when it is knocking onto the water surface very hard, just like a little stone is falling on the water with a loud noise. This seems to afect the fish and they get irritated of the fly and grab it even from a depth.
Sometimes befor I start fishing on a new place, a new river that I have never been before, I just walk for a little while around the river bank and throw little pieces of twigs in the water. If there are any chubs nearby they get on the surface and try to eat them because just as you said they are very curious.
In fact the chubs are on of the fish species that eat almost everything - worms, frogs, fish, aquatic insects, bread, maize, corn, any kind of terrestrials, differnt fruits like mulberry, plums, grape. I think it is in their nature to expect somthing to fall on the surface of the water above them.

If you can not find little sizes treble hooks then try to search in your local shop for little spinner lures for spin fishing in sizes about # 00, # 0 , # 1 , # 2, they have little sizes of treble hooks from # 10 to even # 16.

Greetings from Bulgaria!

Rado Akulata

Interesting fly, but...

Interesting fly, but where does one get trebles that small?

Sarunas_St's picture

Hey, I am 100% guar...

I am 100% guaranteed that chubs will take this fly. They are very curious fish and sometimes grabs acorns or fir-cones.. The only need is to slap the fly on the water!

even more easy fly...

just take a coffee bean and superglue it on a hook


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