18
Aug
12

Stillwater Pattern: Chomper

Last week, I was extolling the virtues of Ostrich Herl as a fly tying material. Tim Rolson, of South Africa, remarked that the Chomper was a worthy pattern, that incorporated the Ostrich Herl. Tim mentioned that the Chomper pattern was less recognized in the U.S. A little research showed that a UK fly fisher, Richard Walker, is noted with developing the pattern.

So, this morning to the vise I went. I tied two Chomper flies. Neither one was satisfying. But, both would probably catch fish. But some observations are in order from my tying effort. I will use the two pictures to elaborate.

This first effort on a size 14 nymph style hook, had the raffia back strap and the olive Ostrich Herl body. The thread was 8/0. I have never been a big fan of Raffia, especially now that synthetic materials make a more durable part and they do not necessitate the addition of some adhesive. In this instance, I selected 5 herls. I tied them in ahead of the already secured raffia at the bend. Once wound forward, I secured the herls. A rather plump body resulted. I pulled the raffia over the top and secured it. The piece of raffia was too large. The resultant thread head was too large because of the bulky raffia and 5 herls. Then I added a coating of glue over the top of the raffia. In the process, I had some end up on the ostrich. A rather sloppy, little pudge ball.

With this Chomper, I used less raffia and only 3 Osrich Herls. The fly presents a more slender, less bulky fly. The herl has room to move. But, again, I was messy in the application of the head cement over the raffia.

The point of the fly is to showcase the merits of Ostrich Herl as a lively material that attracts attention. That is a given, I believe. Beyond that I would use a different material besides raffia for the backstrap. Any of the newer, synthetic materials used for Czech Nymphs and Scuds would suffice. I intend to tie up a dozen more in olive and in black and substitute for the raffia synthetic or feather fibers even with no lacquer). Sizes 14 will work and I may opt for 14/0 thread in olive as well. Thanks Tim for the suggestion re the Chomper. Photo’s a bit blurry. Oops!

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2 Responses to “Stillwater Pattern: Chomper”


  1. August 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Nice that you are playing with this very versatile pattern. Mine I generally only use a single herl, maybe two max and I use raffine for the back which is wetted before stretching it tight and tying off. Regards Tim


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