A Spectacular Fly Fishing Lure – Little Chum Bug

A little chum bug fly fishing lure, freshly tied and ready for action.
The Little Chum Bug fly fishing lure is great for fly fishing on The Salmon River.

Fly Tying Materials for the Little Chum Bug Fly:

  1. Hook – Mustad 37132 size 10, 8, 6, or equivalent
  2. Thread – 3/0 Uni color to match the yarn 
  3. Weighted  – Bead head brass or colored 
  4. Tail-  Glo-Bug yarn or McFly foam 
    1. Crystal Flash (optional)
  5. Body- Glo-Bug or McFly foam                         

How to Tie a Little Chum Bug Fly Fishing Lure

  1. Slide on a bead. 
  2. The small opening (hole) goes toward the eye. 
  3. Remember to use the correct bead size for the size of the hook you’re using.
  4. Start thread behind bead head and wrap back.
  5. Tie in the Glo-Bug yarn or Mcfly foam tail. Extend the tail past the hook.
  6. Optional:  Tie in a few strands of Crystal Flash the same length as the tail.
  7. Cut off a section of Glo-Bug yarn or Mcfly foam. Strip it into four strands. Tie in two strands on top of the hook.
  8. Turn the hook over and tie in two strands on the bottom.  If you want to make the fly appear fuller, tie in two more additional strands on top.
  9. Finish with a small head behind the bead.
  10. REMINDER:   Don’t make your body strands too long and cover the tail.  If you do, just cut to size.
  11. If you have trouble tying in the Glo-Bug yarn, wet your fingers and roll it lightly before you tie it in.

About the Little Chum Bug Fly

This fly fishing lure was originally designed by Steve Burke for chum salmon in the salt. We changed the pattern just a little, tied some up, and tried them on the Salmon River. They worked so well we tied up some more in different sizes and color combinations that should work for big river and small stream fly fishing alike. 

This is a very simple and quick pattern to tie, especially for those interesting in trying to learn fly fishing and ties. It is very effective during the salmon season, but we have found out the browns and steelhead really like this fly fishing lure, especially when small stream fly fishing. (Looks like an egg, must be an egg) .  Glo-Bug yarn and Mcfly foam come in a variety of colors. As I have said many times before, don’t be afraid to experiment and try different color combinations. What works today may not work tomorrow, so make sure to pack a few variations in your fly fishing tackle bag.

How to Use the Little Chum Bug Fly

If you have just started to learn fly fishing techniques and terminology, don’t worry. It can seem daunting to get started, but the best way to learn fly fishing is just to get out there.

To get started with this fly fishing lure, you should fish this pattern DEAD DRIFT. Get your weight and indicator correct so the Chum Bug Fly is rolling just off the bottom. The most important key to fishing this pattern effectively is a drag-free drift.  Your line, or your indicator if you are using one, should follow the current or flow with no lag. One more helpful hint, because this fly uses a lot of yarn, soak this fly fishing lure by rubbing it between your fingers under the water before you make your first cast. 

So if you want to throw something different or the egg pattern isn’t working, tie on a Chum Bug.  I bet you will keep a couple in your fly fishing tackle bag.

Original Article By Brad Berlin

About the Author

Brad Berlin has been tying flies and fishing many of the local streams in the northeast, and especially central Pennsylvania, for over 20 years.  He guides on area streams and the Susquehanna River.  Brad teaches classes in fly tying and casting.  He enjoys fishing the tributaries of Lake Ontario in the fall.

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