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The Heavy Hitter Sow Bug Fly Step by Step Tutorial

The Recipe:

Hook: Stealth Hook C Series sizes 8-14

Thread: Semperfli Waxed Thread 8/0 Red

Body: Semperfli waxed thread ribbed with tan ostrich barbules

Bead: Tungsten beads (4) X 3/32 oz and (2) X 1/8 oz

Resin: Semperfli No Tack UV Resin


The Steps:

Step 1: Insert a scud hook into your vise and begin wrapping about 5-7 wraps down the shank.  I prefer to use red, orange or pink as my thread because you will see the head when you are finished.  For this we will use a red 8/0 waxed thread by Semperfli.

Step 2: Tie in a piece of 6x tippet along the top of the shank of the hook and wrap down well into the bend of the hook.


Step 3: Tie in 2-3 Ostrich barbules depending on the size of the hook.  For size 14 you will need 3 barbules and for a size 18 you will need two.  You can always trim the excess. 

Tip: Tie in the barbules so the butt ends are at the beginning of the bend so it builds a little extra bulk adding to the “humpiness.”

Step 4: Leaving the Ostrich barbules to the side, grab the piece of Tippet and begin adding the Tungsten beads starting with two smaller beads, then step up a size and add two more beads, and lastly add the two smaller beads.

Tip: You don’t have to use all Tungsten beads here.  Another pattern called the Poor Mans Sow bug uses 4-5 craft store Czech beads with one tungsten bead.  Youtube:

Step 5: Secure the tippet with about a hook eyes gap between the bead and the eye of the hook.  To help position the beads on the top, take some wraps down the shank of the hook between each bead and back up again.  Make sure the beads are on the top of the shank of the hook.


Step 6: Palmer the Ostrich barbules up the shank of the hook with a wrap behind the first bead and then a wrap between each bead.  In the middle (bead #3) I start to do two wraps in between each bead and continue to do so up to the eye.


Step 7: Tie off the Ostrich barbules and clean up the head with a few extra thread wraps to build a nice head that doubles as a hot spot. 

Use your scissors to trip off the ostrich sticking up through the beads and also off the sides.  You mainly want the fibers coming off underneath the beads and underneath the hook shank to be full length. 


Step 8: Apply UV resin across the top of the beads.  The better you trimmed the ostrich makes applying it to the sides easier.  I love the Semperfli resin for this reason because it stays where you want it but still is easy to place.  I use the tip of the applicator for this, but you can also use a bodkin. 


 Step 9: I place the sow bug upside down and let the resin flow to the tops of the tungsten bead which gives it an excellent curved top that is super smooth.  Cure for 10-15 seconds. 


Step 10: Inspect to make sure that resin is fully covering the beads on the top and sides.  Also check the butt end and head for a small bit of resin as well. 


Then you are finished.  This should get to the bottom quick of even the fastest deepest flows on the river and be a tasty treat for any trout. 

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