Frank Sawyer invented the Killer Bug to control the number of graylings in the River Avon. It was thought to imitate the freshwater shrimp but can also imitate a hatching caddis. Frank Sawyer tied the fly with Chadwick’s 477 wool thread, but this went out of production in 1965. Several other products can substitute for Chadwick’s 477.
Materials for Frank Sawyer’s Killer Bug
|Thread:||UTC||Copper Wire SM|
Video Instructions on How to Tie Frank Sawyer’s Killer BugVideo coming soon.
Slideshow on How To Tie Frank Sawyer’s Killer Bug
Step 1 – Tie in the Copper Wire and Weight the Fly
The difficult access to Chadwick’s 477 should not stop you from tying the Killer Bug. This fly is an easy tie and a perfect pattern for beginners that want to learn how to tie flies. You can find Chadwick’s on eBay, but often the price is too high. And, as mentioned, several other wool threads can substitute. I’m using a darning wool thread in beige from Kleiber in this version.
First, tie in the copper wire. The copper wire is used both as tying thread and to weight the fly. Continue wrapping the wire around the hook shank until you have covered approximately 50 % of the shank. Now, tie back towards the eye again to build up the body and give the fly some weight. Once you are back at the bare hook, you can tie in the wool thread. Continue tying it in until you reach a point a few turns after the hook’s bend. Then, build up bulk of the fly again. Put a drop of varnish on the wire wraps to prevent it from rotating around the hook.
Step 2 – Create the Body
Wrap the wool thread around the hook until you reach the hook’s eye, then tie off the wool thread at the bend of the hook. Build up a nice little head and complete the fly with a few half-hitches and a drop of varnish.
How to Fish Frank Sawyer’s Killer Bug
Frank Sawyer probably fished the Killer Bug upstream when chasing grayling in the River Avon. This fly imitates both caddis larvae and freshwater shrimps, so it can also catch other freshwater species. If you are tying lighter versions of it, it can also be paired with the Klinkhamer dry fly as a Klink & Dink setup.