7 of the best fly patterns to fish under the bung

Fly fishing with a bung might or strike indicator not be for everyone, but it definitely works and it's a great technique for youngsters. Here are 7 of the best fly patterns to fish under the bung.

7 of the best fly patterns to fish under the bung
© Fly and Lure
7 of the best fly patterns to fish under the bung
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
7 of the best fly patterns to fish under the bung
Estimated reading time 5 - 8 minutes

1. Buzzer

Buzzers were probably the first fly patterns ever to be fished beneath a bung. Prior to the use of strike indicators, they were fished through a technique called straight-lining, but some people struggled to spot gentle takes and found it easier to control depth using an indicator. Nowadays, the use of an indicator to fish buzzers is probably the most common way they're fished and it's a really effective one all year round.

Makflies / YouTube.

Hook: Size 10 Kamasan B175 hook
Body: Bleached stripped quill
Cheeks: Goose biots in red
Thorax cover: Red tinsel
Thread: UTC 70 in black

2. Blobs

While the blob is often perceived as a pulling lure, it actually works brilliantly when fished static beneath a bung. It's particularly effective when you fish it alongside buzzers or other small nymphs because it acts as an attractor pattern, drawing in inquisitive trout for a closer look. Many of them take the blob, but if they don't they'll hopefully take one of the buzzers or nymphs instead.

AP Fly Tying / YouTube.

Hook: Size 10 Dohiku blob hook
Bead: 3.2mm orange brass bead
Body: Sunburst and orange fritz
Thread: Danville's orange

3. Squirmy wormy

The squirmy wormy is a relatively recent addition to the fly fishing scene but is an extremely effective pattern, even if a lot of people hate it. It's deadly when fished under the bung and we've caught loads of trout on it. The best technique is to cast it out and let it sink, but give the line a quick pull every minute or so. The movement attracts fish and they'll often snaffle it as it falls back through the water.

AP Fly Tying / YouTube.

Hook: Size 10 Fulling Mill Heavy Champ
Bead: 3.2mm yellow brass bead
Body: Micro Straggle fritz in yellow
Tail: Deer Creek yellow worm body
Thread: Veevus Power Thread 140 denier thread chartreuse

4. Egg fly

The egg fly is so effective that it's banned on some fisheries and it works very well under the bung. You generally fish it static or give a slow pull so it gently drops through the water. As it's a small pattern, it is possible (though not especially common) that some trout will swallow it more deeply than other flies, so strike quickly and you may wish to avoid using it if you're fishing catch and release.

AP Fly Tying / YouTube.

Hook: Tinny hook
Body: Egg yarn
Thread: Nano Silk 12/0 in grey thread

5. Chewing gum worms

I'm sure we weren't the first, but I think most of the early adopters of the excellent FNF Chewing Gum material instantly realised it's potential for worm patterns. We tied up some pink chewing gum worms and tried them out under the bung at a junior fly fishing day in Wales with our club and were catching fish after fish. The elasticity and natural curliness of this material means it moves wonderfully in water and trout love it. 

AP Fly Tying / YouTube.

Hook: Size 10 Partridge Patriot jig hook
Bead: 3.3mm tungsten disco bead
Tail: FNF Chewing Gum in pink
Body: FNF Chewing Gum in pink
Collar: Hareline Ice Dub in shell pink
Thread: Veevus 10/0 thread in red

6. Mop fly

Probably the latest of the controversial fly patterns, the mop fly is tied from the little fleece "noodles" you find on car wash mitts. American fly fishers have reported amazing results with mop flies on rivers, which they tie in a natural looking brown colour. Most of the wash mitts on sale in the UK tend to be lime green, so UK mop flies are a tad brighter. They're not pleasant to cast (a bit like casting a small wet sock, in fact) but they wiggle brilliantly and work really well beneath a bung.

HM Fly Fishing / YouTube.

Hook: Size 10 hook
Bead: Red brass bead
Tail: Green car wash mitt noodle
Body: Car mitt chenille
Thread: Lime green thread

7. Zonker

The zonker definitely isn't a pattern associated with the bung. It's a big lure made from rabbit fur strips and is usually fished at speed. However, on several occasions, I've seen very experienced fly fishers (at National level) fishing it entirely static beneath an indicator. It seems to be particularly effective over the winter months when trout sometimes get a bit lethargic and can't be bothered to chase but still want an easy meal. Try it!

Davie McPhail / YouTube.

Hook: Size 8 Kamasan B830 hook
Tail: Rabbit zonker strip
Body: Pearl opal tinsel
Rib: White wire
Thread: UTC 8/0 white thread

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