My own variation of Frank Sawyer's original and a solid performing guide fly. But with an interesting difference.
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"Jim, Your minnow tail tie of the Sawyer Killer Bug was a clear winner. I caught 8 brookies and rainbows in an hour from the same hole on that pattern with zero experience. My fellow angler caught none while trying 3 different patterns. This is clear trout crack rock and you can expect another order soon." - Landis in N. Carolina (See Landis' Photo at left)
The story of Frank's fly are many. He is supposed to have said that... "The successful attraction of this pattern is due to the fact that the particular 'darning wool' used, completely changes colour when wet. In this case, more red than the pink of the Utah version. "This version is not a perfect imitation of Chadwick's 477, but isn't far off, and has the correct inner glow (see photo).
I have humbly attempted to upgrade the pattern by using a Red Copper Wire & Silk under-body with a "Patton's" #229 wool body. Notice the comparison photo. Patton's is obviously more gray-tan, less pink. I have attempted to compensate as my version looses it's opaque quality in the water, becomes translucent with the red copper subtly showing through for a glowing color and very lifelike effect (see additional bug photo - but it doesn't do it justice). It reflects a bit of light and the tiny red thread "Hot Spot" sets it off. Picks up air bubbles in the wool yarn fibers.
Also available as the recently popular Candy Cane Minnow Tail - Not shown, photo coming.
Like using several flies at once, I leave a short minnow tag-tail that can be fished as a tiny Bait-Fish streamer or hatching Mayfly trailing a nymphal shuck. Features a narrow Mayfly shaped body, also good for imitating a small Stonefly. Thin or cut the tail short for a Drifting Larvae. Now that's versatility.
#12, 2xL hooks. The Minnow Tail is longer, larger & heavier and with a cigar shape (and more tan-pink coloration than the very pink) Utah Killer Bug. An inexpensive and outstanding performer, simple and very popular seller (popular "One Fly" for nymphing). On-stream, begin by wiping it in the algae to pick up some stream scent & hide yours.
Imitates various nymphs, grubs, small minnows & who knows what? Well, I expect the trout think they are tiny stream crayfish, recently hatched. Try these for a season in rocks, cobbles or gravel bed streams & you won't want to be without them. Can be ordered in other colors: Utah, olive, green, cream, gray, black or brown-gray Shetland wool yarn by request, but the original is awesome. A best performer. Sold as three flies. Traditionally tied.