Around DB bar D’s private access water on the farm in Mills River, North Carolina, we have a population of rainbows and browns that can be tricky at times when they are keying in on a particular aquatic insect—This makes fly choice and presentation important to success on a guided trip with clients and for our Annual Members. We pride ourselves on a fishery that is fun and challenging at times.
One fly that comes to mind that is a producer on those tough farm fishing days is The Slumpbuster. Most fly fishing enthusiast are familiar with this fly and how it has a life-like motion in the water due the zonker strip body and collar. As the name of the fly suggests, this fly can often be the fly that will break your slump to get fish in the net.
The Slumpbuster is great fly to use around the farm in any condition, or if the fish just are not liking the nymphs or dries we are fishing. As of late, the water has been up due to daily rain for the last week so streamers along the edges in the off-color water have been producing a lot of fish.
The Slumpbuster at work on the Farm - 21" rainbow trout hit the streamer on the North Mills River on a swing and strip drift.
My personal preference is to tie this fly on a size 10 streamer limerick hook, tungsten cone, weighted wraps on shank for extra weight, olive rabbit zonkers strips, small olive pearl chenille, and green wire.
Here is the step-by-step process on how I was taught to tie the slumpbuster streamer:
Slide cone onto hook and place hook into the vise jaws.
Wrap lead wire around the shank behind the cone. Push the lead wraps into the back of the cone.
Wrap hook shank and lead wraps with thread. Tie in wire and stop even with the hook barb.
Tie in chenille and wrap thread until it is behind the cone.
Wrap the chenille from the back to front, stopping behind the cone. Secure the chenille with a couple wraps of thread and a whip finish.
Tie in a piece of rabbint zonker (2x shank lenght) at the back of the cone by pushing the front end into the back of the cone and make a few firm securing wraps.
Part the hair on the zonker with damp fingers even with the hook barb and wrap wire over the parted zonker hair.
Spiral the wire forward through the zonker strip, separating the hair evenly, and ribbing the wire over the zonker strip forward to the back of the cone. Secure and tie off the wire. Clip the excess wire.
Tie in another piece of zonker strip behind the cone for the collar.
Wrap the zonker strip around the hook shank two to three times while brushing the hair back towards the bend of the hook. Secure zonker strip with wraps of thread, trim excess, and finish wrapping.