Featured Fly: Bugmeister

No fly box would be complete without the presence of a couple large, attractor style dry flies. The Bugmeister has become one of my favorite searching patterns for the summer and fall months, not to say that it might not work other times of the year as well.

A Peacock Bugmeister tied on a #8 TMC 900BL.

Peacock Bugmeister Material List:

Hook: Dry Fly Hook Size 8-10 (Shown is TMC 900 BL)
Thread: Black 6/0
Tail: Whitetail Deer Hair (Combed & Stacked)
Body: Peacock Herl (2-3 Strands)
Underwing: Pearl Flashabou Accent (4-6 strands) & Peacock Herl (2 strands)
Overwing: Whitetail Deer Hair (Combed & Stacked.)
Thorax: Peacock Herl (2-3 Strands)
Post:Jack Mickievicz’s Optic Poly Material — Optic White
Hackle: 1 Grizzly Feather; 1 Brown Feather


The Bugmeister is not new, it actually is a creation of John Perry in Montana that dates back to the mid 80’s. Like most things in today’s world this pattern is definitely not a secret, but this large dry fly still slips under the radar of most fly fishermen. Watching fish come out of nowhere to take the Bugmeister is what dry fly fishing is all about, and this pattern also functions very well for dry-dropper rigs.

Are fish eating the Bugmeister for a grass hopper, cricket, stonefly? I’m not always sure, this fly sort of looks like anything and nothing at the same time. All I know is that under the right circumstances fish have a hard time refusing the Bugmeister.

I prefer to fish the Bugmeister as a single dry in shallow riffles, or while fishing near structure such as bushes and trees. On my home water, I’ve found that fish in these situations are much more likely to be looking up and willing to take the dry by itself. When working water that is deeper, I tend to fish with this pattern as indicator for dry-dropper rigs. Not to say that the fish will not eat this fly in the deeper water, but I like to add a dropper to pick up the fish that will not rise from depth to the surface.

I’ll admit, I have a slight love-hate relationship with this pattern due to the tying complications. This pattern is a little difficult to handle, and takes more time at the vice than most dry flies I use. But, it works so well. So, I make sure to always have a few Bugmeister’s in my fly box.

All things considered, the extra fuss spent tying the Bugmeister is well worth it. Spin a couple up, watch them catch fish. Tight wraps!

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