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Beadhead Greenie Weenie

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Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 93
Location: New York, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:32 pm    Post subject: Beadhead Greenie Weenie Reply with quote

The Greenie Weenie has become a staple in my small-stream trout arsenal, especially on my competition venues. This is not because it is a hatch-matcher or some secret fly, instead it is because it's a fast-to-tie, durable fly that flat out catches fish. It's construction sees that it achieves depth quickly-another bonus! I suspect that the reason it catches is that it is a giant hot-spot rather than an imitative morsel. Some will argue that it imitates a Green Inchworm but you cannot make that sales pitch to me. I rarely care what a fish takes a fly for, as long as it gets taken!

The Weenie was first created by Ken Igo and the late Russ Mowry from western PA and popularized by Fred Bridge of York, PA. You can read Fred's account of the history of the GW here. I know that George Harvey claims to have been tying this fly for a long time prior to Ken and Russ' work with it, but I cannot find any documentation.

I have taken the liberty to present the fly as I currently tie it, with a furled tail and often a tungsten bead head. I started furling the tail after I developed my Super Juan realizing that it would reduce the surface area of the fly allowing it to sink better. I also feel it looks more attractive. I have also shown the fly as it is more typically tied, truer to Russ and Ken's original. As you can also see from the link I provided above, furling the tail is not unique to me!

I do feel that ultra chenille or vernille is a better material than rayon chenille since it will add durability and reduce hook gap closure. I do tie this pattern in a myriad of sizes from #10 through #18, usually on large gapped hooks. I will also use a hot-head from time to time in the form of a hot orange bead or thread .

This pattern is best fished in riffle/run situations where trout do not get a long look. Depend on the bright shot of color to elicit reaction takes. This fly will commonly out produce the most imitative nymphs.


Hook: Standard or 1XL wide gape hooks
Bead: tungsten (color optional)
Weight: Round lead wire (Diam. to match hook wire)
Thread: Chartreuse
Tail: Furled Chartreuse Ultra-chenille
Body: Same as Tail, wound-not furled.

Slide a bead onto your barbless hook and place it in your vise.

Beginning above what would be the barb location, wrap the wire up to the rear edge of the bead.

Wiggle the tag to snap it off against the shank.

Repeat up front.

Slide the lead underbody up into the bead cavity.

Affix your tying thread and wind through the lead to secure it, build a taper on the rear edge, and wrap back to the bend.

Strip the fuzz from the tip of the core of your ultra-chenille.

Secure the chenille to the hook by the exposed tip at the rear of the lead wire.

Pull the chenille toward you and spin it tight.

Double the chenille into a small loop to the rear and secure it with several (5) tight wraps of thread. As you let go the chenille will twist upon itself, or furl.

Lift the chenille out of the way and wrap the thread to the bead.

Wrap a tight body using the excess chenille.

The final wrap passes over the hook and in front of the thread.

Pull it under, up and to the rear.... with 3 turns of thread and clip the excess.

Whip and clip and you have a completed Greenie Weenie!

The more traditional version.
Loren Williams
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