Fly Tying Corner
Humpy (AKA Horner Deer Hair or Goofus Bug)
Tuesday - August 9, 2016
This monthís pattern features an old classic, the Humpy. It is a pattern developed by Jack Horner, and was originally called the Horner Deer Hair. Later it was renamed the Goofus Bug, and even later still, became the Humpy. Over time is has become a very versatile pattern for fishing a wide variety of situations. Whatever you call it, this pattern catches fish!
It is not designed to imitate any specific insect. But what makes it unique, and effective is that it imitates many different types of insects on the water, from Caddisflies to Stoneflies and even terrestrials. It can be tied in many colors. In yellow, it might represent a hopper, in cinnamon the trout might confuse this fly for a caddis, and tied in Hot Orange, as I have demonstrated in the example pattern, it might be a Salmon Fly or October Caddis. It floats high on the water and can be fished right in the middle of heavy river current. But it also fishes well on lakes when skated to resemble a traveling sedge.
I tie this pattern in a non-traditional style. In the original, the pattern is tied by folding the hump, or deer hair over the abdomen of the fly back and forth eventually winding up with the tips facing forward to become the wing. I create the hump on this fly using the deer hair tied in for the tail. This style makes getting correct proportions much easier, and I think it is an overall easier way to tie the pattern that the original.
Experiment with different sizes and color variations for this pattern. I will tie this pattern as large as a size 8 hook to imitate stoneflies and october caddis and will tie it down to a size 18 for small caddis. Colors I use routinely include: red, yellow, hot orange, olive, black, cinnamon and brown. I also vary the hackle from brown to dun, to ginger and grizzly. Come up with your own color variations and give this a try on your favorite Central Oregon stream or lake.
- Hook: Daiichi 1180 Size 14-18 or similar
- Thread: Hot Orange, 70 Denier, or other color as preferred
- Tail: Mule Deer
- Abdomen: Thread wraps covered with folds of mule deer from the tail
- Wing: Mule Deer
- Hackle: Whiting Farms Brown Dry Fly Saddle Hackle