The animal reffered to as chuck, woodchuck, groundhog, marmot, speed bump, and **##$$##* has guard hair and underfur that can be used to tie fishing flies. The guard hair varies along its length in color from its silvery/white tips to its black midsection to its brown root section. It is like having three materials in one! The reddish brown underfur works well for dubbing either alone or as part of a mix..
Why woodchuck isn't more popular with fly tyers is a mystery to me. It (and its cousin the rock chuck) are readily available, inexpensive and makes some sharp looking flies that can be tied in a wide variety of patterns to catch trout, bass and other fish.
Since organizing this swap, I have learned new patterns, met (via e mail and the postal service) new friends and "visited" with some old friends. Thank you all for sharing and swapping and helping to answer the question of "What do you do with groundhog fur?"
adapted and tied by
Ed Engelman firstname.lastname@example.org
Hook Streamer size 10-14
Tie in bead chain head
Turn the hook over and tie in sparse woodchuck guard hair wing.
Bass will follow this fly right up to the shoreline and take it in the shallows. I have also landed pickerel, yellow perch and bluegills on this fly.
Option: Paint beaded chain brown or black to more closely resemble a damselfly nymph.
Chuck N Duck
Richard Eppinger email@example.com
The Chuck 'N Duck is tied on a caddis/scud hook, using brown thread. The body is dubbed woodchuck, scraped from the patch with a little hare's ear added for body. The underwing is guard hairs from the woodchuck and topped with woodduck fibres. The hackle is CDC, dyed sulphur and finished with the thread for a head.
designed and tied by
Bud Cragar firstname.lastname@example.org
Hook: Dry fly size 14
Thread: Camel Size 8/0
Body: Woodchuck dubbing applied by touch dubbing method
Hackle: Grizzly Hacckle, palmered
Wing: Woodchuck guardhairs, downwingThis fly is a variation of the elk hair caddis. With the woodchuck wing it will not float as well as with the elk hair.
You can either add floatant to add to its bouyancy or since caddis sometimes dive into the water to lay eggs you can fish it wet. (Bud reports that he has had good luck fishing this fly wet.)
Hook: Mustad 9671 size 10-14
Thread: Brown, size 6/0
Collar: Woodchuck dubbing looped
Hackle: Grizzly hackle palmered
Abdomen: Woodchuck dubbing
1. Attach thread and wind back to mid hook.
2. Cut a small clump of woodchuck and remove the guard hairs. Tie in the fur as a bushy tail.
3. Tie in the hackle over the barb.
4. Dub the abdomen with the dark fur next to the skin on the woodchuck. Leave room for a collar.
5. Palemer the hackle forward and tie off.
6. Cut another clump of woodchuck and remove the guard hairs. Put the fur in a dubbing loop and spin a collar.
Options Tie with a bead
Use the guard hairs for the tail
Chuck Adams Parachute
John Martinez email@example.com
Hook: 9672 (16-10)
Body: cream sparkle dub
Hackle: 1 brown, 1 grizzly
Most verything is ground-hog, tail, abdomen and thorax, gold ribbed, bead head. A small piece of turkey tail is used for the wingcase.
I'm sure that the fish will really gopher this nymph
The fly is named the Rock Chukkar Bugger! Whatever that may be!
Hook: #14 3399A Mustad
Wrap on the brown mono tying thread. Then stack a few elk hair strands to get them even and tie them on. They should be just more than half the length of the hook shank. A couple of loose wraps at the back of the wrapping will help to hold them in a straight line rather than flaring out. If you make a longer tail, you will have more trouble with flaring hair.
After wrapping on the tail--
Wrap thread forward to front 1/3 of hook. Tie on stacked elk hair bundle and then divide in two even parts. Tie each divided bundle/wing separately. They should be tied so that they stand at 90 degrees to the shank or swept slightly back. The fly looks dinky on the water if the wings are tipped forward.
When wings are in place--
Wrap thread to the back of the hook or beginning of tail and dub on the marmot fur that has been clipped off the hide and blended. I use an old food blender. This works well on all kinds of stuff to make your own dubbing. Wrap on the dubbed material to the wing.
Select a grizzly neck hackle and tie on. The hackle fibers should be the length of the of 1 and 1/2 times the bend of the hook. I moisten the hackle so that it is not brittle and won't break as easily when I am wrapping it on. I use three to five wraps in back of the wing and the same in front of the wing--then tie of and whip it--tie on the head. Cut the thread after knotting it and put a drop of head cement on the tied head. Trim the long guard hairs of the fly body that happen to sprong out.
After tying a few you will get the knack and be able to balance your materials to make the fly to your liking.
I fish these (usually) as a nymph, upstream. When fished downstream I tend to use short strips with a significant pause between strips.
Note: Peter has a high quality fly fishing web site with many flies, fishing stories and more. E.E.