"South Branch Chub"
Text and Flies by Bob Jacklin
Drawings by Tom Porterfield
Photo by Jim Birkholm
From: Patterns of the Masters, 1995 Oregon Council, Federation of Fly Fishers

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Fly Tying Terms

South Branch Chub

This little sparsely dressed streamer was developed by me for use on small streams for native brook trout in my home state of New Jersey when I was in high school. I would have like to have called it the Little Brook Trout except there was a fly with that name. The little stream I tied it for was the South Branch of the Raritan River. The upper section of this river had a lot of native brook trout and they were hard to catch. Unlike other bucktails and streamers this fly was tied sparse and looked like a small minnow or chub, as there was an abundance of chubs in that section of river.

I named the fly the South Branch Chub after the river I loved to fish. It wasn't until years later when I was living and guiding in the West Yellowstone area that the fly really caught on. The little fly worked great on small streams for small trout. Tied on a size 10 hook and fished in small streams and ponds this fly is second to none. I then tied the fly on a size 8 hook, still sparse, and used it on the spawning run of browns and rainbows in the upper Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Since that first evening on the Madison about 18 years ago I have caught many large trout on this little known fly.

Materials List:

    Hook: 4X L model perfect bend, #6, #8, and #10.

    Thread:  6/0 Black pre-waxed.

    Body:  Gold mylar tinsel.

    Ribbing:  Fine Gold wire.

    Wing:  Black and White Monga Ringtail hair and barred teal flank feather.

    Head:  Two Jungle Cock eye; black 6/0 thread.

Tying Instructions:

1. Wrap on the 6/0 black thread from the eye of the hook back almost to the start of the bend of the hook. At the bend tie in the fine gold ribbing and hold aside. Bring the thread back to the eye of the hook.

2. Tie in the medium gold mylar tinsel. Cement the threaded hook shank and wrap the tinsel towards the bend of the hook and them back to the eye. Bring ribbing forward.

3. Tie in a very small sparse amount of White Monga Ringtail hair for the base of the wing.

4. Over the white hair tie in an equal amount of the black Monga Ring Tail hair on top of the white hair.

5. The top of the wing is the most important part of the fly. You may drape a small teal flank feather to form the back of the fly or tie in a small strip of the teal flank feather on one side of the fly near the back of the wing and another small strip near the back on the other side of the fly.

6. Two Jungle Cock Eyes are tied in at this time and the head is finished with several coats of head cement.

7. A very light touch of dubbing wax is applied to the wing and groomed with the fingers to give that nice sparse look. ~ Bob Jacklin

South Branch Chub

Fishing the Fly

As I stated earlier, this fly was tied to be fished in small streams and ponds. On small streams fish this fly down stream and retrieve in back up stream and make it look as though it was a small bait fish swimming up against the current. On ponds I cast a long line and retrieve it with short sharp strokes. On a river the size of the upper Madison in Yellowstone Park I use an intermediate sinking line (WF5I) and fish it down and across stream with some short sharp strips. This fly has accounted for many big trout for me over the years. Because of its sparseness and small size, it looks like an easy meal for any trout large or small. Just in the last few years it has caught on in California for hard-to-catch trout in Crowley Reservoir. Good Fishing!

If you have any questions on tying or fishing this fly feel free to send me an email. ~ Bob Jacklin

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