Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Venerable Cooper Bug

Peacock Cooper Bug
By: Jack Cooper
Tied By: Larry O Jurgens
Hook: Hook Is Tyers Choice
Size: 10 ~ 20
Thread: Tan or Black UTC 70
Tail, Shellback and Head: Elk Body Hair, Bleached or Natural
Body: Peacock Herls
This is a very old pattern and has been called devil bug, doodle bug etc., etc., depending on the location.

The following is excerpted from The Perfect 10: New England Natives by William G. Tapply at

Downeaster Jack Cooper invented this simple deer-hair bug back in the 1930s to catch the brook trout that gobbled caddisflies off the surface of his local ponds. The fly worked so well that Cooper applied for a patent. He was denied on the grounds that his bug was too similar to Orley Tuttle’s Devil Bug. Bob Elliot, for decades the official spokesman for Maine’s angling tourism and an expert on eastern brook trout, gave a handful of Cooper’s bugs to my father (Tap Tapply ~ loj). Dad gave ‘em a try and declared the Cooper Bug his favorite all-round searching fly. We fished them dead-drifted upstream, both to rising trout and to likely pockets. We cast them down and across and twitched ‘em back. We caught a lot of brookies both ways from the streams we floated in Dad’s canoe.
 Gary Borger’s Devil Bug is tied differently and is a more complicated tie. To view his tying instructions got to URL;
I have tied, and tried Gary Borger’s Devil Bug and it works well and it floats a little higher and longer before becoming water saturated.
Send me an email for tying instructions.