The Zug Bug is an older pattern that bears a striking resemblence to its younger cousin, the Prince Nymph. I like this bug because it features lots of fish catching peacock herl and is just a little something different from the now commonplace Prince, and it doesn’t hurt my feelings that this fly is pretty, too. Fish the Zug as you would any nymph. I typically tie it weighted and have used this pattern in both rivers and lakes with good success.
Hook: TMC 3761 #18-18
Thread: Black 8/0 UNI
Weight: Lead Wire
Underbody: Dark Dubbing, Black Superfine is used here
Tail: Peacock Sword fibers
Rib: Silver Wire
Collar: Brown Hen Neck
Wingcase: Mallard Flank Dyed Wood Duck Gold
Make about a dozen wraps of lead wire on the hook shank. Make sure to leave a bit of room at the front of the shank behind the eye. Start the thread at the back of the lead wraps and make a thread dam on either end of the lead wraps, tapering up onto the lead from the bare shank. Cross hatch the lead wraps with several turns of thread to anchor everything in place.
Dub a smoothly tapered underbody using a fine dark dubbing. This underbody will help to shape and taper the peacock overbody. Note the bare space between the front of the dubbing and the hook eye.
Select four or five peacock sword fibers and measure them so they are just short of a shank length.
Tie the peacock swords in at the bend of the hook forming the tail. If there is any curve to the swords (and there always is), try to make them sweep upwards. The fish don’t care but it adds an air of class to the fly. Wrap forward over the butt ends of the swords to near the front of the tapered underbody and clip the excess.
Tie a piece of silver wire in at the bend of the hook. Wrap forward over the short end of the wire pinning it to the shank and securing it in place. Return the thread to the front of the underbody.
Tie in a small bunch of 4-6 peacock herls at the front of the underbody. Wrap the thread tightly back over them to the bend and then return the thread to the front.
Wrap the peacock herl forward to about an eye length behind the hook eye and tie them off. Clip the excess peacock herls here.
Spiral wrap the wire forward over the peacock to the front of the body, tie it off with a couple tight turns and clip or helicopter the excess.
Make a thread base from the front of the body to the hook eye and back again. Select, size and prepare a hen neck feather and tie it in at the front edge of the body with the inside of the feather facing the body.
Fold the hackle fibers to the backside of the stem in preparation for a wet fly style collar.
Wrap the hen feather three or four turns and tie it off just behind the hook eye. Clip the tip of the feather. Sweep the hackle collar back against the body with your fingers and build a small thread layer over the base to hold them there.
Strip the fibers from the base of a dyed mallard flank feather so you have just the tip section of the feather shown here.
Tie the base of the mallard feather in just behind the hook eye. Make sure you don’t just tie it in by the bare stem, but instead a bit up onto the fibers. This will help to center the feather and make for a more durable fly.
Clip the tip of the mallard feather flush and build a short thread head to cover the stubs. Whip finish and clip the thread.
Clip the mallard feather straight across at the fifty-fifty point. Make sure this cut is perpendicular to the body of the fly and not angled. Flies with angled wingcases will only catch the dumb fish.
Add a coat of head cement to the thread head and you’re done.