February 3, 2017

The Bluegill Bug- Golden Retriever


Tyin’ A Golden Retriever
***As always on my blog, please double click on the picture if you want to see a larger version.
So, let’s tie a Golden Retriever – Sorry no video, but as always, a material description.
Hook: I use a 3xlong Nymph style hook.  I prefer a size #10 for mine, but, tying them in a size 12 or 14 would certainly be O.K. for smaller baitfish imitation.
Thread: Any bright Red thread would work as it is used for the underbody on the fly also.  I use a heavier Ultra Thread (280) size in Red.  I do this so that it takes less time to build up an underbody than using the smaller 8/0 size threads.  The Ultra Thread (280) almost seems to be Floss size.  I tie the fly using that size thread for the entire fly from start to finish.
Bead Head: I use a Gold Bead size 5/32 0z   De-barb your hook to begin with and slide Bead to head of fly.
Body: Red Thread as mentioned above.  Tie the thread in place behind the bead and built up a small ball of thread just behind the bead to hold the bead in place.  Wrap thread down to point on hook where you are straight up from barb spot of the hook.
Tail: Tan colored Marabou.  Your pinch of Marabou for the tail should be approximately the length of the hook shank.  Tie it in directly above the barb spot on the hook.
Body of Fly:  Estaz Chenille ( Peach).  Next tie in your Estaz directly above the barb spot at the same place where you tied in your Marabou.  Now, take the thread and begin to build up an underbody with the thread.  Go back and forth down the shank of the hook until you have a nice even body thread underbody.  Make sure your thread is at the front of the fly just behind the bead when your done with it.  Now begin wrapping the Estaz chenille forward leaving a small gap between each wrap of chenille so that the red underbody shows through.  Bring the chenille forward to the point just in back of the bead where you will tie it off with red thread.  After the chenille is tied off, make a few more wraps of the red thread to snug it up against the bead.
Finish:  Tie a whip finish knot and add a drop of head cement on red thread to secure the tie.
After you tie a couple of these, you will become very comfortable tying this quick and easy fly to add to your Panfish Box and Bass Boxes.  For the Trout angler, don’t forget to fish these also.  They can be a hot pattern at any time.  For Bluegill, or Bass, I like to fish them early and late in the day and like them best in the early season and then again in the Fall of the year before ice set in here in Colorado.
Tie some up and let me know how you do.  Leave a question in comment form if you have one…









14 thoughts on “The Bluegill Bug- Golden Retriever
  1. Ralph Long

    I wholeheartedly agree Mel! The Golden Retriever has been a favorite of mine for years. Excellent pattern. The originator is Jim Finn of Mossy Creek Outfitters in Virginia. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mel - Fly Tyin' Times

    Thank you, Alan! I know that it catches Bluegill, Bass, Perch, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout……
    Back in the years that I did fish for Steelhead, never heard of the Golden Retriever. You might be right on there, Alan.

  3. Mel - Fly Tyin' Times

    Ralph, thanks for your support as usual. I really enjoy tying this fly on the end of my line (there must be some reason I keep doing that). I also appreciate you sharing some history on the Golden Retriever and where it originated. Jim Finn did it right!

  4. Mel - Fly Tyin' Times

    Happy to get your fly tying juices flowing, Mark……………
    Purchasing tip for you……..
    The Estaz chenille is the color "Peach" as they label it. More than one time folks have told me they could not find Estaz in the color "Gold" so they did not tie any up…..

  5. Bill Trussell

    Great job at the vice, amazing the materials one can find to create a productive fly pattern. Wonder if I could have collected a few hairs off some of my pointer birddogs I hunted with years ago and tied a pattern? Thanks for sharing

  6. Mel - Fly Tyin' Times

    Thank you, Bill. Part of the fun of fly tying is the "creativity" angle. Sources for fly tying material are everywhere you look………. I love Craft Stores and Yarn shops for example. Yes, is the answer to your question on your hair from your "Pointers". All for the love of fly tying! Thanks for the visit and comment.

  7. Josh

    Thanks for the instructions. Definitely a multi-species pattern. I can see a few bluegills slamming this or some crappie at the pond.

  8. Mel - Fly Tyin' Times

    Thanks, Josh. Oh, no doubt from my end on the warm water fish liking them. They are fun to fish when they are actively chasing minnows or just being aggressive. My pleasure to offer the tying tips……

  9. Brad Basehore

    Mel, thanks for posting this pattern,I use this pattern quite a bit in south central pa.,I also tie it in charcurese, and pearl. The pattern just flat out works. I also vary the way I weight it. I use cone heads and lead on the underbody. You did a nice job on this fly,thanks.

  10. Mel - Fly Tyin' Times

    Welcome to my blog, Brad. Your visits and comments are always welcome here. Thanks for sharing your use of the Golden Retriever. You are right, "it flat out works". I also made note of some of the variations you offered in weighting the pattern and in color scheme. I will tie some of those up and give them a swim this year for sure.


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