What is a Bob's Bits?
Although it has evolved a little over time, like most flies, the Bob's Bits is a trout fly that essentially resembles a hopper without legs.
It was devised decades ago by fly fisher Bob Worts for fishing at Grafham Water, but it soon became popular elsewhere and it's still widely used today.
How do you fish Bob's Bits?
Bob's Bits is a dry fly pattern designed to sit in the surface ripple, rather than upon it. It's not a natural floater, so typically needs a bit of help to stay buoyant via some Gherke's Gink or similar. It works brilliantly for brown and rainbow trout on all still waters, but it's mainly considered a fly for reservoirs.
What materials are used in a Bob's Bits fly?
It's said that the original Bob's Bits fly was made from bits of fluff extracted from Bob's jumper (hence Bob's Bits), but these days seals' fur or a seals' fur substitute is usually used for the body material.
What colours work best?
Bob's Bits is a versatile fly that can really be tied in any colour you fancy. Black ones are among the most popular and effective colours to tie, mainly because they resemble such a wide range of insects, but orange and claret are also great colours.
Why do only some versions have a wing?
The white wing on a Bob's Bits is considered an optional extra. It's really only there to help you see the fly at distance, rather than to help make it more imitative. If you want to add one, white goose or swan feather are the original materials used.
1. Black Bob's Bits fly
This Black Bob's Bits fly pattern tied by ace Welsh tier Hywel Morgan is a classic pattern that's really simple to tie.
Hywel ties his with black seals' fur tapering down towards the butt and a small tuft of yellow polypropylene yarn to act as the wing and sight indicator.
It's finished off with a short black cock hackle sized so it's roughly the same length as the body of the fly.
2. Claret Bob's Bits fly
Davie McPhail's Claret Bob's Bit fly is another belter. The body is a lightly dubbed claret seal's fur added to a waxed thread to help it stick, but unlike Hywel, Davie adds a rib of pearl Uni Mylar.
Davie's preferred hackle is a cheap Indian hackle in dark reddish brown. It's a nice easy pattern to tie and even a novice should be able to pull it off - the hackle is the only moderately tricky bit to it.
3. CDC Bibio Emerger Bob's Bits fly
This CDC Bibio Emerger variant of Bob's Bits uses the characteristic band of red common to Bibio fly patterns and uses a loop of Cul De Canard feathers to keep it all afloat.
4. Holographic Hot Spot Bob's Bits Fly
The Holographic Hot Spot Bob's Bits is another simple dry fly pattern for beginners to tie. It's just a subtle twist on the original with the simple addition of some mylar holographic tinsel to act as a hot spot to help attract the interest of the trout.