By Gary Lewis
Some of the best trout and steelhead flies are not imitative of any one insect. Rather, they are suggestive of many different fish foods. The Girdle Bug, a wet fly, falls into this category.
On the Deschutes, tied in black or brown, a large Girdle Bug might entice a trout that has been eating stonefly or salmonfly nymphs. Tied on a number 10 hook, and used in other waters it might be taken for something else. Bump it along the bottom in a swift current or cast and retrieve with short crawling strips. For use in still water, weight the fly at the head and vary your retrieve until you start hooking fish.
You could also try the Girdle Bug in tandem with a smaller fly on a dropper.
Tie the Girdle Bug on a heavy extra-long nymph hook in size 6 through 10. Use rubber hackle, small-diameter white elastic rubber or rubber bands for tail and legs. Tie in the tail first, forming a ‘V' then tie in the legs. Wrap chenille evenly for the body, positioning the legs with the chenille. Vary the pattern with black, brown, olive or tan chenille.