Third Millennium Bunyan Bug
~ A Larry Jurgens Creation ~

If you're familiar with the popular autobiographical novel by Norman MacLean, "A River Runs Through It". You may recall mention of the Bunyan Bug. Well, here is some info on the original and an updated version.

Original Bunyan Bug



Bunyan Bug (Original)
By: Norman Means
Source: flytyingworld.com/PagesR/rl-bunyanbug.htm
Hook: 3X standard wet in sizes 4 through 12
Thread: none.
Tail: None.
Body: Pencil-sized cork.
Wing: White or cream horse tail.
Body color: Black, yellow and orange model paint.

Tying Instructions

If you want to tie an authentic Bunyan Bug you can give the instructions below a try. It is the basic information provided in George Grant's 1981 book, "Montana Trout Flies". He describes using a cork body the same length as the hook, whish is a #2 or #4 heavy wire about 1-1/4 inch long. The cork should be stained or painted deep orange. The segmented markings on the top and bottom are made with a black or dark brown permanent marker (I would use paint). The wings are made with blond or light sandy horse mane, inserted into the front body in a spent position. Make a slit into the body to insert the horse mane. Make a slit lengthwise so the body will fit on the hook shank so most of the body is on top. Be sure to use a good strong cement to attach the wing and body to ensure to keep it in place.

A strong thread, positioned on the hook before the body is attached to the shank, is now wrapped over the segments of the body to hold the body firmly on the hook. Coat the body with clear varnish.

Variation on the Original by Ronn Lucas

The Bunyan Bug (fly on right) is an original fly that was tied by Norman Edward Lee Means in about 1945. Ronn Lucas is the proud owner of that fly.

The one on the left is one of Ronn's variations tied on an antique hook. It's obviously not intended to duplicate the original Bunyan Bug and it is not intended for fishing, although it could be. It is intended to be viewed as Ronn's special creative talent.



The hair is Elk mane and the body is a feather quill base, that was split to go round the hook and tied on. Then it was coated with a clear varnish. It is tied with a dubbed body and long shank hook and fished to represent large Stoneflies and/or Dragonflies. Of course, it's a big fly and can be a challenge to cast but, under the right conditions would be worth the effort.

Notes:
Norman Means (born 1899 in Davis, West Virginia) moved to Montana in 1921 where he studied forestry at the University of Montana. It was his forester career that contributed to the nickname of Paul Bunyan, the fictional lumberjack character. He created the "Bunyan Bug" fly in 1923, which was named using his nickname.

Third Millennium Bunyan Bug
3rd Millennium Bunyan Bug Dry (Orange)
By: Larry Jurgens
Source: Larry Jurgens
Hook: Dai-Riki #700
Size: 2 ~ 8
Thread: FL Orange Danville Flat Waxed Nylon (210 Denier)
Tail & Antenna: Black X-Small Round Rubber
Overbody: Black 2mm Foam
Underbody: Orange 2mm Foam
Rib: Tying Thread
Wings: Polar Bear Color Unique Hair
Optional Indicator: Chartreuse 3mm X 1mm Foam Strip

Tying Instructions

  1. Preparation: Cut 2 strips of Black and 1 strip of Orange 2mm foam per the note below. The foam length should be at least 2 ~ 3 times the hookshank length. Note: Width for the following sizes, 2 = 5/16", 4 = 1/4", 6 = 3/16" and 8 = 1/8"
  2. Tie in the antenna and wrap a threadbase over the antenna to above the hook point.
  3. Cut a 1/2" long point on 1 black and 1 orange foam strip.
  4. Tie in the black foam on top and the orange foam on the bottom of the hook.
  5. Wrap a threadbase over the 2 pieces of body foam to above the hook barb.
  6. Wrap the thread forward to where you want the first body segment.
  7. Pull the top piece of foam forward; stretching to the size you want the segment. Tie in with 2 thread wraps. Note: Try to keep the thread wraps on top of each other.
  8. Pull the bottom piece of foam forward; stretching to the size you want the segment. Tie in with 2 thread wraps. Note: Try to keep the thread wraps on top of each other.
  9. Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8 to the 1/3 hookshank point. Note: Makes segments larger as you go forward.
  10. Tie in the wings perpendicular to the hookshank.Note: Each wing length should be equal to the hookshank length.
  11. Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8 until you reach the hook eye.
  12. Cut off the bottom foam.
  13. Fold the top foam back to the second segment and tie off with 2 thread wraps.
  14. Optional, tie in the indicator.
  15. Cut off the top foam leaving a small "stub" keeping the material from pulling out.
  16. Whip-finish with a minimum number of wraps.
  17. Optional, coat all thread wraps with Flex Cement or Loon water based head cement.
3rd Millennium Bunyan Bug Nymph (Orange)
By: Larry Jurgens
Source: Larry Jurgens
Hook: TMC 9395
Size: 2 ~ 8
Thread: FL Orange Danville Flat Waxed Nylon (210 Denier)
Tail & Antenna: Black X-Small Round Rubber
Optional: Lead or Non-Lead Wire Underbody
Overbody: Black 2mm Foam (See Notes 2 & 3)
Underbody Orange 2mm Foam (See Note 2 & 3)
Rib: Tying Thread
Wing Cases: Black 2mm Foam (Same Width As Underbody, See Note 3)
Legs: Black Medium Round Rubber
Head: Black Tungsten Bead "The Bigger The Better"
Note 1: per Ernest Schwiebert's book "Nymphs", all stoneflies have "14 segments" including the head.
Note 2: Preparation: Cut 2 strips of Black and 1 strip of Orange 2mm foam per the note below.
The foam length should be at least 2 ~ 3 times the hookshank length.
Note 3: Width for the following sizes, #2 = 3/8", #4 = 5/16", #6 = 1/4" and #8 = 3/16". Make the bottom foam strip 1/16" narrower than the top foam strip.


Tying Instruction

  1. Slide bead onto the hook shank.
  2. Pull the antenna & Tail material through the bead. A loop of 6X mono will work for this.
  3. Start the thread behind the hook eye and tie in the antenna. Wrap a threadbase over the antenna that is "tight" to the bead.
  4. Whip-finish and cut off the thread. Optional, coat the bead threadbase with ZAP-A-GAP+.
  5. Slide the bead onto the bead threadbase.
  6. Start the thread behind the bead and wrap a threadbase over the tail material to above the hook point.
  7. Cut a 1/2" long point on 1 black and 1 orange foam strip.
  8. Tie in the black foam on top and the orange foam on the bottom of the hook.
  9. Wrap a threadbase over the 2 pieces of body foam to above the hook barb.
  10. Wrap the thread forward to where you want the first body segment.
  11. Pull the top piece of foam forward; stretching to the size you want the segment. Tie in with 2 thread wraps. Note: Try to keep the thread wraps on top of each other.
  12. Pull the bottom piece of foam forward; stretching to the size you want the segment. Tie in with 2 thread wraps. Note: Try to keep the thread wraps on top of each other.
  13. Repeat steps 13, 14 & 15 to the 1/3 hookshank point. Note: Makes segments larger as you go forward.
  14. Tie in the rear wingcase. Do not cut off and leave the front part long.
  15. Tie in 1 piece of leg material one each side of the hookshank for rear legs with 2 wraps. Do not cut off at this time.
  16. Repeat steps 13, 14 & 15.
  17. Tie in the front part of the rear wingcase and cut off leaving a small "stub." Tie in the middle wingcase. Do not cut off and leave the front part long.
  18. Pull rear leg material forward and tie in with one wrap. Tie in 1 piece of leg material for front legs. Make 2 thread wraps. Note: Try to keep the thread wraps on top of each other.
  19. Repeat steps 13, 14 & 15.
  20. Pull the front part of the middle wingcase forward and tie in with 2 wraps.
  21. Pull front leg material forward and tie in with 3 wraps.
  22. Repeat steps 13, 14 & 15. This should put you behind the bead. Pull the front of the middle wingcase forward and tie in and cut off leaving a small "stub."
  23. Whip-finish with a minimum number of wraps.
  24. Cut a "V" in both the middle and rear wingcase. Optional, coat all thread wraps with Flex Cement or Loon water based head cement.
 
More 3rd Millennium Bunyan Bug Pics
 
3rd Millennium Bunyan Bug Dry (Orange)
By: Larry Jurgens
Source: Larry Jurgens
Hook: Dai-Riki #700
Size: 2 ~ 8
Thread: FL Orange Danville Flat Waxed Nylon (210 Denier)
Tail & Antenna: Black X-Small Round Rubber
Overbody: Black 2mm Foam
Underbody: Orange 2mm Foam
Rib: Tying Thread
Wings: Polar Bear Color Unique Hair
Optional Indicator: Chartreuse 3mm X 1mm Foam Strip
     
3rd Millennium Bunyan Bug Nymph (Orange)
By: Larry Jurgens
Source: Larry Jurgens
Hook: TMC 9395
Size: 2 ~ 8
Thread: FL Orange Danville Flat Waxed Nylon (210 Denier)
Tail & Antenna: Black X-Small Round Rubber
Optional: Lead or Non-Lead Wire Underbody
Overbody: Black 2mm Foam (See Notes 2 & 3)
Underbody Orange 2mm Foam (See Note 2 & 3)
Rib: Tying Thread
Wing Cases: Black 2mm Foam (Same Width As Underbody, See Note 3)
Legs: Black Medium Round Rubber
Head: Black Tungsten Bead "The Bigger The Better"