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Doodle bug dry fishing fly a Maine classic great for pond fishing

Doodle Bug


I remember as a boy catching my biggest trout on a Doodlebug.   I had a large beaver bog near my house and would fish it regularly.  It had a long dam that I would walk out along and perch myself on as I fished.  I still remember clearly those early adventures.  I thought I had the place all to myself, thus the name “Secret Bog”.  One day as I walked my way along the ribbon of stick and mud of the dam, I heard a voice.   Someone else had found my secret place  - and was fishing with worms, no-less. 
A number of experienced anglers have told me that they always fish the Doodlebug on a wet line, but it is often fished as a dry fly. Our Doodlebugs are tied by Lucille Pepin of Stratton.  She has provided them for the store since before we bought it.  The Doodlebug is her specialty.  She supplies us and Tim Pond camps with this Maine classic.
Hook – dry fly #10
thread – red
body – red chenille
wing    - white, deer body hair

Note from Sue: Brett asked me to find the history of the Doodle Bug.  Easier said than done!  The first internet search brought up information about a guided missile used by Germany in WWII.  Little cars, tractors, pill bugs, and even divining rods are nicknamed “doodlebug”.  It seems that in the early 1900s a guide named Orley C. Tuttle from New York tied a “Devil bug” with spun deer hair body and deer hair back/wing.  It was often tied large as a mouse pattern and used for bass.  His wife, who painted details on them and helped with the marketing, was originally from Maine (which may be why some think it was created here).   Use peacock herl or a dubbed body with the deer hair tied over the top and it is sometimes called a Cooper Bug.  The one we call a Doodlebug at the store has a chenille body and is also referred to as the “Tim Pond Fly” due to the great success people have fishing for trout with it there.  This summer many people have tried different colors of this fly and are having fun with it on the local ponds.  Tiers sometimes leave the tail unclipped feeling that the splayed hairs are a more effective trigger (possibly imitating a trailing shuck).  Some tie it as small as a 22.
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Jeffrey A Howe - July 10, 2020

I have fished the doodle bug years back but it seems to have fallen off my radar and I’m not sure why. It was always a favorite in dads fly box in years past. I recall dad liked to tie some his with an orange yarn body and for some trout ponds and beaver flows there was flat out no substitute!

Ken Carter - June 26, 2020

I would love to talk with you about the history of the doodlebug. Please call me at 936-524-1235.

Ken Carter

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