This week Fly Friday is from PRO-Team member Mick Hall, it's The Tassie Bug...
The stonefly featured above is a close cousin to an American species they call the “Salmon Fly”; just click on Google and type in “Salmon fly hatches” and you will see what I mean.
Back in 1995 yours truly, along with three other members of "Team Penn Tasmania", Frank Hussey, Laurie Matcham and team captain Ken Orr, witnessed the true value of fishing Stoneflies especially if they had rubber legs.
It was brought home to us big-time; simply because that year the Chernobyl Ant won the One Fly hands down and had everyone talking about this weird looking fly.
It was designed by members of the Emmet Heath camp from the Green River area. Mark Forsland first put it together with a hackle over the body and called it the Black Mamba but during the One Fly event, Allan Woolley changed Mark’s pattern by replacing the hackle with rubber legs. It is a no brainer to guess who won the One Fly that year.
As soon as Ken Orr saw the Chernobyl Ant, he said, "That would work at home, as there are plenty of those big Stoneflies up in the highlands." How right he was. The fact is this stonefly is not only in the highlands but is widespread, as is the family that it belongs to.
This critter belongs to the Eustheniidae family; they are the largest and most colourful stone flies in Australia.
Today the Chernobyl Ant is well featured in many Tasmanian fly boxes and, as with many successful fly patterns, it has spawned a lot of variations.
A few days back I received a couple of packets of Partridge Hooks, being the "G3A/L, The Wet Heavy Supreme". A key feature to this hook is its wide gape and its natural ability to handle the biggest of fish. Believe me, we have some real brutes over here. Bulky flies need that little extra gape and this hook was made for flies like the Chernobyl Ant.
The Pattern: The Tassie Bug tied by Mick Hall
Hook: G3A/L Wet Heavy Supreme
Thread: 6/0 Black multi fibred
Under-foam body: Beige Evasote 2 or 3mm thick
Top piece: Black Evasote foam 2 or 3mm thick
Legs: Spirit River Tarantu-leggs, colour Orange Medium.