Most every fly angler is familiar with the Girdle Bug, a.k.a. Pat's Rubber Legs. This ubiquitous nymph works coast to coast, and the recent evolution of the Zirdle Bug has added a streamer like quality that makes it an even more versatile fly. The version tied here uses a Pine Squirrel Zonker as opposed to Rabbit, which gives it a streamlined profile and improved motion. The jig hook gives the fly both snag resistance, and a more positive hook set.
Hook: Firehole 523- Size 10
Bead: MFC Tungsten Lucent Jig Bead 5/32- Orange
Thread: Veevus 10/0- Rusty Brown
Zonker Strip: Pine Squirrel- Natural
Legs: MFC Barred Sexi Floss- Orange
Body: Whitlock's SLF Dubbing- Golden Stone
Rib: Ultra Wire Brassie- Gold
Collar: Soft Hackle Hen Speckled Brown
Step One: Thread the bead on the hook and place in the vice so that the bead rests near the back of the shank. Tie on just behind the eye, and secure the first set of legs protruding forward. Use an x wrap to split the legs, then whip finish and trim.
Step Two: Reposition the hook in the vise so that the shank is flat , and the eye is facing up. Slide the bead over the thread wraps near the eye, and tie back on directly behind the bead. Make enough thread wraps to lock the bead in place. Then wrap to the back of the shank. At this point you can attach a set of rear legs(optional)
Step Three: Measure your Zonker Strip relative to the back of the hook shank. Find the point where you want the strip to meet the shank to form the tail. The tail length should be approx. the same length as the shank. Mark this point with a fine tip marker.
Step Four: Carefully remove the fly from the vise, and pierce the Zonker Strip with the hook at the marked point. Reclamp the hook, then secure the strip with a few thread wraps at the back of the shank. At this time tie in the wire that will be used for the rib.
Step Five: Wrap to the middle of the hook and attach a pair of legs to each side. A drop of super glue on your thread will help hold them in place. After the legs are to your liking, wrap back to the base of the tail. At this point you may want to use a paper clip, or lightweight hackle pliers to hold the legs out of your way.
Step 6: Dub the body, releasing the legs from you clip as you move forward. Be sure to dub enough between the legs to keep them apart. Bring the Zonker Strip forward and secure it behing the bead with thread wraps. Trim as needed, then wind the wire forward to create the rib.
Step 8: Tie in the soft hackle hen feather by the tip and make 1-3 wraps to form the collar. Clean up with a few thread wraps, and whip finish. Now you are ready to do some Squirdling!