The Pat’s Rubber Legs has quite a few names, cat poo, girdle bug, pickle. No matter what you call it, it’s effective in fooling trout. I will note here there is a difference in the girdle bug and pats rubber legs which will be addressed in this post.
The fly is named for a guide in Island Park, ID Located on the Henry’s Fork the of the Snake. Pat Bennet built upon already existing stonefly Nymph patterns and added Flexi-floss legs for extra movement. The girdle bug is a similar pattern the main difference is flexi-floss vs Rubber Legs. Even though it’s is called Pat’s Rubber Leg it uses flexi-floss. This small variation has made a huge difference in the effectiveness of an already renowned pattern.
Flexi-floss goes by a few names as well, spanaflex or dynalfloss. It is basicly thin floss covered in rubber. This is a major departure from traditional rubber legs because even with the same thickness leg, the flexi-floss will remain floppy and generate a lot more movement.
Hook: Size 6 Hazard H11
Thread: 8/0 Black
Underbody: .25 wire
Tail: Black flexi-floss
Body: Black sparkle chenille
Legs: Black flex-floss
Once you have the materials gathered it is time to begin.
Step 1 – Secure your hook into the vise and wrap 20 turns of wire around the hook. Pinch off, push the wire together and move it on the hook. I like to leave enough space behind the eye secure another leg and whip finish.
Step 2 – Secure your thread to the hook near the eye. Bring your thread to the hook bend wrapping over the wire to secure it in place. To prepare your flexi-floss, I take one strand and clip it in half. This half will make everything for one fly. I clip the floss into four even pieces, which is easily accomplished doubling the pieces over and clipping. I take one piece fold it over and secure at the rear for a tail. Strip your chenille and secure at the rear over the tail.
Step 3 – Bring your thread forward to about the 75% mark. Tie in your first set of legs. I lay the legs on top of the hook and make three diagonal wraps, I then adjust the legs and make Three diagonal wraps the opposite way to help keep the legs straight. If your legs curve backwards this is ok and has a great look. Bring your thread one chenille wrap forward and secure your second set of legs in the same manner, followed by the third.
Step 4 – wrap your chenille forward, going between the sets of legs and being careful not to trap any legs under the chenille. Whip finish and snip the tread. You are done and free to add any head cement you desire.
While I have shown a version like many flies the variations are endless. Some add another set of flexi-floss for an antenna, changing colors, using barred chenille, or using rubber legs to make a girdle bug. No matter how you spin it the big catches fish and with how easy it is you have no excuse not to have some.
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