Pat’s Rubber Legs Material List:
Hook: Jig or Long Nymph Hook #4-10 (TMC 200R or equivalent would work.)
Bead: Gold Tungsten or Brass (Match bead size to hook size.)
Lead Wire: 8-12 wraps (Match Diameter to Hook Wire Diameter.)
Thread: Brown 6/0
Body: Wapsi Variegated Chenille Medium
Legs: Wapsi Spanflex (Medium for #4-6, Small for #8-10)
Tying stonefly patterns can be complex, very time consuming, and give many fly tyers a headache. A Pat’s Rubber Legs, or Girdle Bug, is a simple stonefly nymph that is a solution to that problem. While complex stoneflies can be very fun to attempt, trout will still eat the simple stuff. Not only is this style of stonefly nymph easy to tie, but I truthfully think it out fishes many more complex patterns on most days.
On a stream where stoneflies are a major source of food, you will never find me without patterns such as a Pat’s Rubber Leg’s or Girdle Bug. I find these flies to be especially effective during the winter mouths when trout can find it hard to pass up a larger meal. There is a wide range of color options for this pattern, but I usually do the best with Ginger/White, Black/Coffee, Brown/Yellow, and Light Olive/Brown. I almost always use Brown Wapsi Spanflex for legs on all the color options I tie.
The only part of this fly that can be a bit problematic to master are the 3 sets of legs in the front. Some tyers use more or less, but I have found 2 tails in the back and 3 sets of legs on the front to be proficient. I like to tie in one set of legs at a time by placing the Spanflex perpendicular to the hook shank, and securing it with a couple of figure eight wraps. See image below:
To me, tying the sets of legs in using this method seems quicker and easier to position them properly. It also seems to make quickly wrapping the chenille between each set of legs a little less of a hassle. If this method works for you, great. If not, there are certainly many ways to achieve the desired result. Tight wraps!