The Slumpbuster is yet another piscatorial creation from John Barr. This fly is one of the few NEW streamer patterns that are actually something more than a Wooly Bugger variation. The Slumpbuster is heavily weighted at the front end to create a fish attracting jigging action in the water and its matuka-style fur strip wing breathes seductively without fouling. I prefer this pattern to the Zonker because of its ease of tying and durability.
I like to fish this fly with a floating line and stout leader. I cast it toward the bank and retrieve with erratic strips. The speed and cadence of the retrieve is varied until the fish show their preference. Long, slow strips are sometimes the answer while fast and furious produces at other times. I like this fly in olive, black and rusty brown. Other variations include natural and white. Tie some of these up in a few different colors and sizes (don’t overlook the size tens) and throw them the next time you’re out on an overcast day. You’ll like the results!
Hook: TMC 5262 #2-10
Thread: 3/0 Olive Monocord
Cone: Brass or tungsten, sized to hook
Weight: Lead wire, sized to hook
Rib: Brassie Sized Ultra-Wire, color of your choice, (chartreuse used here)
Body: Gold Mini-Flat Braid
Wing: Dyed Pine Squirrel Zonker Strip, olive
Collar: Dyed Pine Squirrel Strip wrapped like hackle
Slide cone onto hook and up to the eye. Wrap lead wire ten to twenty turns around the shank behind the cone. Shove the lead wraps into the back of the cone.
Start the thread at the rear edge of the lead wraps and cover the lead and the shank back to the bend. Return the thread to the bend and tie in an eight-inch length of wire and wrap forward over it to the rear edge of the lead wraps.
Bring the thread to just behind the cone and tie in an eight-inch length of gold mini-braid.
Wrap the braid from the front to the back, ending at the bend.
Make one wrap with the braid behind the wire rib at the bend and continue wrapping the braid forward again to the back of the cone forming a smooth, tapered body.
Tie the braid off at the back of the cone and clip the excess.
Tie in a two-inch long piece of squirrel strip at the back of the cone by pushing the front end into the back of the cone and making a few firm wraps over it.
Dampen your fingers and part the hair on the strip just in front of the bend.
Wrap the wire over the squirrel strip through the part in the hair at the bend.
Continue spiraling the wire forward through the hair strip by evenly separating the hair and ribbing the wire over the strip forward to the back of the cone. Tie off the wire at the front of the body and clip the excess.
Tie in another piece of squirrel for the collar at the back of the cone with the skin side to the front and the fur pointing back toward the bend.
Wrap the squirrel strip around the hook at the back of the cone two or three times. Comb the hair toward the bend with each wrap clearing the way for the next.
Tie the squirrel off at the back of the bead and clip the excess.
Make a few tight turns of thread to cinch everything down and whip finish behind the cone. Trim the squirrel strip hanging from the bend to one half a shank length. Cut the hide only, leaving the fur intact.
Finished fly, side view. Notice the length of the squirrel strip and the spacing of the ribbing.