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How to Tie McKenna’s Rumble Bug

Producer: Tim Flagler

This is Dave McKenna’s Rumble Bug. He designed it to help out a buddy after a tough day of competition, and it worked on the Raven’s Fork in Cherokee, North Carolina. Since then, it’s worked just about everywhere else.

Dave starts with a Fulling Mill size 16 barbless jig hook. To this he’s going to add a 7/64” silver colored slotted tungsten bead. He feeds the hook point into the small hole of the bead and then slides the bead around to behind the hook eye. After getting the assembly secured in the jaws of his tying vise, he loads a bobbin with a spool of orange glo-brite fluorescent thread.

Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the bead and take a few wraps rearward before snipping off the tag. Continue taking touching wraps back to about the hook point.

8-10 wood duck fibers are used for the tail of the fly. While keeping their tips aligned, snip them free from the feather then measure to form a tail about a hook shank in length. Then transfer that measurement to the start of the hook bend. Secure the wood duck to the top of the shank with wraps of tying thread again to the start of the bend. Now, wrap forward all the way up to the back edge of the bead. There, complete a 3 or 4 turn whip finish, seat the knot well and snip your tying thread free.

Now load a bobbin with a spool of purple glo-brite thread. Start the thread behind the bead and take a few wraps rearward before snipping off the tag.

Snip a single strand of flashabou free from the hank and secure it to the hook shank with wraps of tying thread. Continue taking wraps with your thread all the way back to the hook point then forward to just behind the bead. Get hold of the flashabou and begin making touching or slightly overlapping wraps with it up the hook shank, over top of the purple thread. When you reach the bead, use your tying thread to anchor the flashabou and snip the excess off close.

Just the smallest amount of UV cure resin applied to the tip of your bodkin is enough to coat the wraps of flashabou. Follow this with a good shot of UV light and the resin should set hard and clear.

Apply a very light skim of dubbing wax to your tying thread, then mix equal amounts of rainbow colored sow and scud dub with Senyo’s rainbow colored fusion dub. Create a short thin dubbing noodle on your tying thread then wrap that noodle behind the bead to build up a short, fuzzy collar. Do a 4 or 5 turn whip finish with the purple thread, then use the tips of your tying scissors to snip it off close. You want a rather minimal collar here so as not to slow the fly’s fast sink rate.

The Rumble Bug is definitely worth a try no matter where you fish.