Ian Christie has some funky-looking Boobies that work wonders on early season trout. Here he reveals four of his favourites.
Always a popular pattern for fishing in conjunction with sinking-line setups on big waters, the usual favourites all work well as Booby versions, such as Two-Tone Blobs, Tequila and Orange Blobs. I tend to match the eye colour to that of the body Fritz so as to blend in, as a Blob in essence really is a giant ‘hotspot’ of colour in the water. Some of the most recent styles of Blob Booby are those with different coloured Fritz materials blended together.
In the Fusion Blob, rather than use two Fritz colours I've used Gel-Core Fritz and Medium Crystal Hackle together – the result creates a textured look and feel to the Blob due to the different lengths of the two materials. There are various combinations of colours and material that can be combined to create a large range of good patterns.
Booby Eyes And Size
There are no rules to eye size; however, I like to keep the eyes in proportion rather than have them engulf the whole fly. Usually for most patterns or at least all but Blobs I will tend to use 4mm eyes, which work well on size 10 and 12 hooks and are suitable for competition flies. To create Booby eyes you are usually best creating your own pair of cutters, which can be made simply out of some aluminium piping – just cut a length and sharpen the ends. This is then fitted to a power drill, so that you can drill out your own cylinders for making eyes. Unfortunately, the eyes sold by the vast majority of fly-tying suppliers are often too big and the sizes are rarely ‘just right’.
Attaching Booby Eyes
There are a few key ways in which you can fix your Booby eyes, and everyone has their preference. The most common is to attach to the fly and twist, using a figure-of-eight method. However, I prefer the more time-consuming performing method of using a needle in the vice, inserting a cylinder and then whipping down the centre to create a pair of eyes. This allows you to accurately cut a rounded shape to the edges.
For mini-lure styles and Booby nymphs my preferred choice is a Kamasan B175; for Blobs I tend to use a wide-gape B160 size 8 or 6 to give more room in the gape for hook-ups. Often, using a B175 with a dense body material like Fritz can create a restricted blockage in the gape, which can at times cause fish to bounce off when taking the fly.
As with most patterns the world’s your oyster when it comes to fly make-up and design; these are the flies that I find work throughout the season and, even better, they can be fished through the whole water column!
Tie your own and see how effective they can be. In the right hands the Booby, whatever tying it is, has to be the most productive style of fly out there!