by Paul Egan
The Little Green Thing
The Little Green Thing is a very versatile fly. Like most of my flies, it is a generic pattern. It can represent many bugs in many situations. I’ve caught fish on this pattern in just about every situation possible. The Little Green Thing has worked in streams, rivers and lakes. It’s worked on sunny days, rainy days and even snowy days. I‘ve caught fish on it from California to Utah.
One time this pattern comes to mind was a club function at the East Carson River fishout with the Sacramento club. Fishing was tough all weekend at the lake and in the river. I’d caught a few on dries and one nice Bow on a large green hare’s ear in the river. I’d kicked all over the lake to no avail. On the last night, Jeff Sullivan joined us and amongst the talk about making wine, we got in a few words about fishing. Jeff told me he had learned a technique a year or two ago that worked well for that lake. Jeff told me to go to the bank just as the sun was coming up and use a little green buggy-looking fly, cast it out, and strip it in very slow, just barely keeping it moving.
Just my luck: I had ONE fly in my box that fit Jeff’s description. Since I’d stayed an extra day, on Monday I was up with the sun and at the beach, 4 weight rod with a 9’ leader and #3 tippet in hand. On the second cast, I was retrieving the fly along side some weeds and BAM!!! The line was jerked out of my hand and shooting through the rod. I got so excited I reached out and grabbed it. The next sound I heard was “TINK!" I surely wasn’t expecting such a large fish! If I’d have waited for it to get to the reel, this story might be longer. Like I said earlier, I only had one fly of this description in my box, but I tried several other flies and casts anyways, but not one hit. This is just one of my stand-by patterns. It is simple to tie, looks very buggy, and, if you use stronger tippet than I do, they last a long time.
HOOK: TMC # 2487 size 10-18
THREAD: Uni-thread 6/0 black
TAIL: Olive Antron floss
RIB: Fine copper or silver wire
THORAX: Olive Antron floss
ABDOMEN: Peacock herl
HACKLE: Black Saddle (barbs same length as the gap)
WING CASE: Olive Antron floss
HEAD: Black Thread
1. Smash barb and place in vice.
2. Start the thread 5 wraps behind the eye and wrap back along the shank deep into the bend. This will form a thread base.
3. Tie in a piece of wire
4. Tie in the Antron floss leave a small piece sticking back for a tail. Pull the main piece of floss to the rear of the fly and secure down with 3 or 4 wraps of thread. Wrap the thread about ¾ of the way up the hook.
5. Wrap the floss up to the thread at the ¾ point. (For a thicker body over lap the floss, for a thin body wrap it side by side.) Tie it off with the tag end directly on top of the hook shank. DO NOT CUT…..!!!
6. Wrap the wire to the thread. You can reverse wrap if you prefer, but you don’t have to. The Antron is very strong and the wire is just for look. Tie off and cut the end
7. Tie in the hackle
8. Tie in 2-5 peacock herls, depending on what size fly and how thick you've made the thorax.
9. Twist the peacock then wrap it to the forward most point of the thread five wraps behind the eye. Tie off and cut the tag ends.
10. Palmer wrap the hackle forward to the end of the peacock using only three wraps. Tie off and cut the tag end.
11. Pull the tag end of the Antron floss forward over the abdomen to form a wing case, tie off.
12. Cut the end a little long leaving a small piece of floss for a head. Pull the end back over the fly and wrap the thread 2 or 3 times under it, whip finish and glue.
13. Now that the fly is tied take a comb or a dubbing teaser and fray the tail and the head.
Tie up a bunch…you may need them if you use 6X tippet