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"Yellow Humpy"
Text and Photo by Matt Lyon

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Fly Tying Terms

The Yellow Humpy

Many notable tiers have played a part in developing what is now called the Humpy. This fly was born in the American West and mostly designed to float well in the faster waters of the Rocky Mountains. It catches fish nearly everywhere.

Materials List:

Hooks:  Daiichi 1180, Mustad 94840 or equivalent

Thread:  3/0 Yellow

Tail:  Deer hair

Body:  Yellow 3/0 thread

Shellback: Deer hair

Wings: Tips from shellback

Hackle:  grizzly, cree, or brown/grizzly

Tying Instructions:

1.  Mash down barb and place hook in vise.

2.  Start thread directly above barb.

3.  Stack a small bunch of deer hair, tie in as tail. length=shank.

4.  Stack a clump of deer hair. Tie in at tail so tips extend out past tail (length from tie in point=1 and a 1/2 shank lengths). Secure butts to midshank. Trim excess butts.

5. Put several layers of thread over the tied down butts, covering completely with yellow thread, and building up a bit to make a bulky body.

6.  Pull deer hair forward over body as a shellback, secure forward to 1/4 shank from eye.

7.  Pull tips upright and place several wraps of thread just front of them, so they stand upright when released.

8. Divide the tips in half with fingers or scissors and place figure 8 wraps to keep them divided.

9. Put a couple wraps around the base of each wing.

10.  Tie in hackle. Wrap hackle forward to eye, it should be very dense and full. Tie in and trim excess.

11. Whip finish, cut thread, and cement.

Fishing the Fly:

The Humpy is a good all around attractor pattern. It can be tied in any color. Some people tie it with a very slim body. Not me, I say if you want a slim bodied, high floater, use a Wulff. Humpys should be big and fat. They float like a cork. They work very well in the summer and fall as they imitate a number of terrestrials. They are also a good searching pattern when no hatch is evident. Generally, it is fished dead drift. But, sometimes I like to use the Humpy as an indicator when fishing small emergers or midges in rougher water. Although it isn't usually used to imitate any thing in particular, it sure does catch fish. ~Matt Lyon

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