My problem with boobies

by Steve Galea | April 14, 2016

booby fly

I’ve never fished booby flies, but I have read a lot about them. So, I’ve learned that in the United Kingdom, they’re popular and anglers who fish lakes for trout swear by them.

They say these flies, with their oversized, closed cell-foam eyes, can be deadly when used with a full sink line. With each pull of the line, the fly sinks, and, with each pause, its mostly marabou body flutters seductively upwards thanks to those buoyant foam eyes. Then the fly floats neutrally until the next pull. British anglers say this action drives trout crazy. It makes a lot of sense to me.

I’ve known about boobies for years and have long thought they could be just the ticket for some of the trout lakes around here. But, quite frankly, the name has always stopped me.

I get into enough trouble on my own.

Having said that, the subject of boobies came up several times this winter, and I got to thinking about them again. By the way, sentences like that are the main reason I hesitated adding these flies to my arsenal in the first place.

In any case, two very good fly anglers I know – one is the coach of our national fly fishing team – started telling me how effective these things are and how to fish them in the lakes I call home waters. By the time I had finished talking to these two, I was hooked.

Within the last month, against my better judgment, I’ve tied an assortment of about four dozen boobies, ordered the fly line best suited to fishing them, and am now just waiting for spring so I can try them out on the lake trout and rainbows around here.

I’m already paying the price though.

You see, unlike other aspects of my life, I like to keep my fly boxes highly organized. Heck, I go so far as to use a label-maker to show what’s in them.

As a result, my 16-year-old daughter asked me one of those questions a father never wants to hear: “Dad, why is this fly box labelled ‘Boobies’?” Clearly, I had some explaining to do. And when it was done, I was once again wondering if these flies were going to be worth the trouble.

But I was also glad she never saw the box beneath it.

It was labelled “Buggers.”

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