As attractor dry flies go, the Humpy is near the top of my list. Tied to imitate nothing in particular, but still incredibly “buggy,” the Humpy is a great high-floating searching pattern for trout in backcountry settings.
But, as with a lot of my favorite attractors, the Humpy can be a real pain to tie. This fly uses a lot of material, and it’s very easy to “overtie” it, closing the hook gap and leaving you with a little ball of hair and hackle that might look OK, but will likely fish poorly.
Above, Tim Flager offers up his version of the Yellow Humpy (but you can tie the pattern in just about any color — red is probably my favorite), and you can see, even for a pro at the vise, just how complex this pattern can get.
I do like Tim’s incorporation of Uni-Stretch to build up the body — it likely makes the pattern less likely to sink on you too quickly, and it does provide a handsome, bulbous body likely looks to trout like a terrestrial insect — perhaps a bee or maybe an ant (depending on the color, of course).
But, even with Tim’s tips and tricks, this fly is still one of my least-favorite to tie at the vise — it’s almost worth it to me to pay for this sucker at the fly shop and let someone else pull their hair out trying to tie it.
Regardless, this pattern is a killer trout fly on small streams, and I always have a few on hand when I’m searching for backcountry trout.