The Booby

by Jonathan

The Booby is a relatively recent addition to the flyfishers arsenal.  The original patterns were tied using polystyrene balls tied together in the mesh from ladies tights and tied in at the eye of the hook.  The way they wobbled about was how the fly acquired its name.  Their other main disadvantage was that if you applied varnish to the head and some got on the polystyrene it was only a question of time before either one or both ‘deflated’.

The fly had proved so successful on the stillwaters, particularly for rainbows, that some enterprising angler came up with booby tube which could be supplied in various lengths and was not damaged by varnish.

That is the material we have used on the demo.

The variations on colour of head, chenille, cactus chenille or the marabou tail is limited only by the imagination of the tyer. Green and white and orange and white are favourites.

The ‘fly’ is usually fished with a sinking line. Once the line has settled on the lake bed the booby will be floating above it at the height of the leader.  You can be lazy and sit there and wait for a rainbow to cruise by and take the fly, or you can retrieve your line in long pulls, allowing time between for the fly to lift back up to its original height.  As you pull the line the booby is drawn to the lake bed.

In recent years the competition fishers use boobies to fish the ‘washing line’ method.  Usually, I believe, with an intermediate line.  The booby is fished on the point and 2 droppers with nymphs or buzzers on the cast.  This method is used to explore different depths where the fish are feeding.

I do not believe our American friends have discovered this ‘fly’ yet despite their Dolly Parton probably being responsible for its name.

If you like sitting on the bank and taking it easy this fly might be worth a try.  It has accounted for some big fish.


  • Hook long shank 10 / 8
  • Body orange chenille fritz
  • Tail orange marabou
  • Head plastazote tube orange or white
  • Tying silk orange
  • Tail flash optional
  • Please note color variations are optional ( white /green – black / green ) 



Dave Cammiss and The Team

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Booby pattern | Puisernu
September 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

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