I’d scored some fun new hot-tipped rubber legs from the local fly shop a couple days earlier, and had been contemplating a use for them ever since. I focused my excitement and set out to build something with a bunch of color, contrast, and motion that would hold a large profile when swung. I wanted a fly that might move a fish through the cold, colored water we were expecting on our trip. More than that, I wanted something fun - a fly with personality. The result was the bright Hobgoblin, which actually proved to be my best fly on that trip. To top things off, on that same trip I also landed and released my own personal biggest steelhead to date on the new fly.
Since then, I’ve added several more color combinations of the Hobgoblin to my fly box, but I still have a real fondness for the one that started it all. The recipe for that fly is included below.
One thing I like about this pattern is that the color combinations are essentially limitless, and I hope other tiers are inspired to create new versions and adaptations for themselves.
Take Care and Fish On,
Bright Hobgoblin Recipe
Shank - Tiers choice, approximately 1 inch long. I prefer a cutoff shank from and old bass stinger hook.
Trailer Hook - Owner SSW Needle Point, #2 or #1
Trailer hook connection – TUF-line XP braid, 65 pound, red
Thread – Danville Flymaster + Size A, Fluorescent Fire Orange
Eyes – Hareline Double Pupil Brass Eyes, in Hot Orange, or Pseudo Eyes, in Red; various sizes
Tail – White rabbit strip, with the TUF-line threaded through with a needle, exiting the top (fur side) of the strip. This allows for easy hook replacements on the water.
Body Dubbing - Mix of angora and Ice Dub, color to match the hot tips of the rubber legs
Flash – Pearl Flashabou, 6-8 strands
Legs – Hot tipped rubber legs. Hot pink with orange tips. Tied in with tips facing forward. One clump above and one clump below the shank.
Collar – Arctic fox tail fur or Craft Fur, spun into a dubbing loop. Color to match the base color of the rubber legs. Palmer the collar behind the rubber legs that are facing forward. Tie off, and pull the rubber legs back over the collar, creating maximum profile when swung.
Wing – Natural grizzly hackle tips, 2, tied in at the head, just in front of the eyes.