My Cart


Golden Retriever

Posted on May 01 2012

golden retriever at a maine fly shop
The Golden Retriever was originated in the Shenandoah River Valley in Virginia. It is tempting to call it a type of wooly bugger, but there are some distinct differences between the two patterns. My first experience with this pattern was accidental. Last fall, a customer came in and asked if I could copy a fly that was working well for him on the Upper Magalloway. It had been pretty much destroyed by the fish. As I inspected it, I recognized it as a pattern I had seen somewhere on the internet as the Golden Retriever. I ordered the needed material: a tinsel-like material called Estaz. During the winter tying classes, it became a favorite among tiers. It can be tyed in tan (the original color), root beer, olive, white, black, and more.

Hook – 9672 #10
5/32 bead,
0.025 lead free wire
Thread – red 6/0
Body – red floss
Tail – tan marabou
Hackle – crustacean tan Estaz, medium


  • Paul A Cruser: September 10, 2021

    The fly was first designed by Jim Finn for Mossy Creek near Harrisonburg Virginia. Jim knew his stuff and taught me a lot I have caught nearly every type of freshwater fish in Virginia on this fly.

  • Robert Greer : March 13, 2021

    I was fishing on the fish river off my property Another fisherman came up to me I was doing good on Salmon He asked me what I was using and I showed him his first Golden Retriever That was close to ten years ago I see every couple years and remember’s me giving him a few .He tells me he kept showing everyone the flies He calms now every shop down state carries them now

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Monthly Newsletter

Stay informed with our email newsletter