John Barr's Slump Buster is a great streamer pattern to have in your fly box! If you don't have any, you need to tie a few before your next trip to the river. They range form size 10 up to a 2 and are typically tied on a 3x long streamer hook. The fly was designed to push a lot of water with the cone head and wraps of fur at the front of the fly. This makes it a great fly to fish in off-colored water or to swing through dark undercuts. Its a simple fly to tie and catches both warm and cold water species. With a little practice and a few tips, you can make them look as good as the one in the video above. Tim Flagler is the master!
Five Tying Tips
1. Use 140 denier thread.
This allows you to use more tension when securing the fur.
2. Weight the fly with a cone-head and plenty of lead-free wire.
The weight forward design allows it to "jig" as you strip it back from the bank.
3. Wet the fur when wrapping the wire up the shank of the hook.
This allows for the wire to be wrapped without trapping any fur. Take your time with this, it's well worth the effort.
4. Wrap the fur 2-3 times once at the head of the fly.
This produces a nice dense head, ultimately pushing more water.
5. Tuck the last wrap of fur under the cone head.
Creating a clean finish to this fly has always been a challenge for me. By tucking the fur right up against the cone-head and using the 140 denier to force it further under the lip of the cone-head, you'll have a nicely finished fly.
Experiment with different body materials and colors. Crystal flash, ice dub, and diamond braid all work well.
It's always nice to have a few Slump Busters in your bugger box. They're bigger than your average Woolly Bugger but smaller than the popular articulated streamers. They'll fill out your box nicely and allow you to downsize on those day's your not connecting with the big stuff!