Tag Archives: Tapply Hair Bugs

Mr. H.G. Tapply of Tap’s Tips

Mr. H.G. Tapply of Tap’s Tips Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Mr. H.G. Tapply of Tap’s Tips fame in Field and Stream Magazine was a fine write, a great angler and a superb fly designer. I considered him a special friend.
We wrote often and exchanged flies and tips for his column. I even guided his son, Bill on Armstrong spring creek in Montana.  I have a great selection of flies he designed. These flies show how he could easily get to the bottom of the problems of facing the fly tyer in order to produce the flies which would catch fish.
Today I want to discuss the Tapply Deer Hair Surface Bass Bug.
This bug is so easy to tie that I teach my beginning students in my fly tying classes to tie it. As they go through the various tying steps I explain why each one helps to produce a bug which is both effective and durable. When they have all completed their Tapply Bug I explain that the bug in their vise will easily hold up to catch one hundred smallmouth bass for them.

Tying Recipe
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 4 and 6 (or similar)
Thread: Kevlar (colors to suit)
Body: Deer Body Hair (colors to suit)
Tail: Bucktail (colors to suit)

Angling Tactics: I dress both the Tapply Bug and the leader with Bug Float. I fish these with a slow strip-pause-strip action along the shaded river banks. The water is three to four feet deep over cobblestone river bottoms. Another hot spot is the pool tails at dusk. A slow upstream presentation with a very slow swimming action brings up the big bass.


Deer Hair Bass Bugs

Murray's Frisky Frog Deer Hair Bass Bug
Murray’s Frisky Frog Deer Hair Bass Bug

Deer Hair Bass Surface Bugs are easy to tie and are very effective to fish. Here are some tips which help beginning fly tyers in the winter classes I teach in my fly shop tie great deer hair bass bugs. The most important step is to remove all of the fuzz and short hair from each bunch of deer hair as you trim it from the skin. To do this I hold the trimmed bunch of hair by the tips and brush it vigorously with a stiff toothbrush. Next I like to keep the hook shank free of thread wraps except right where I tie the tail in. I also like to use Kevlar tying thread to reduce thread-breakage. Trim the finished bug very closely on the stomach in order to hook the bass securely. Paint the stomach of the bug right along the hook shank with spar varnish cut 50-50 with paint thinner to make the bug very durable. Keep the bug’s appendages on the sides (such as wings and legs) to a minimum so the bug does not twist the leader when casting.
The Tapply Hair Bug and the Murray’s Deer Hair Bass Bug Series are good examples of smooth, very effective Deer Hair Bass Bugs.