Understanding Buzzers

Craig808

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Feb 25, 2021
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Yorkshire
On the small stillwaters I fish, if you get a flat calm in winter (or any time of year) I find that a hover line can make all the difference as it stops any wake from the retrieve. If you can’t carry two lines then even just adding a sinking braided leader to a normal floating line will help.
And they're useful in windy conditions as well. All in all quite a versatile line 👍
 

BobP

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I suspect that most of us at some time have had trout take buzzers that are moving. I've had a few over the years when winding in to move or change flies, & I had one brown at Chew chase one about 15 yards when we were about to move the boat. I heard that one take the fly with a clearly audible "snap".

However, relying upon the occasional village id1ot stockie to take stripped buzzers as a tactic to use on a regular basis is stretching things a bit far. Be more effective pulling blobs.
 

Tangled

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In Search of the Perfect Buzzer Pattern

I been fishing buzzers successfully for decades. On a stillwater there isn't a day that I don't try them but I've never found what I'd call the perfect pattern.

Perfect for me means imitative - but not photorealistic - and easy to tie. I'm still looking for a convincing but simple way of suggesting segmentation, silvering of the segments, wing case and breathers.

What are your best patterns?

1621254544431.png
 
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Elwyman

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Last couple of seasons I've done better with Diawl Bach patterns than my usual buzzer patterns. Pearl ribbed patterns in particular. Dressed on a light hook you can fish them high in the water when the fish are taking emergers.
 

Tangled

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Last couple of seasons I've done better with Diawl Bach patterns than my usual buzzer patterns. Pearl ribbed patterns in particular. Dressed on a light hook you can fish them high in the water when the fish are taking emergers.
Strangely, me too. That's one reason I'm thinking more about it. The thing with the diawl bach is that it can be a buzzer or a damsel fly - or just a plain lure. Depending a bit on how fast or slow you fish it. It's also a good emergency dry fly when ginked-up.
 
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Vintage Badger

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When looking at the natural pupa, I've often thought that the head appears to be quite large in comparison to the diameter of the body. I don't think many patterns seem to replicate this feature, so I'm experimenting with this at the moment and will be tying some 'big-head buzzers' to try next time I'm out. It'll be interesting to see if that profile of buzzer will be more readily taken.
 

Tangled

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When looking at the natural pupa, I've often thought that the head appears to be quite large in comparison to the diameter of the body. I don't think many patterns seem to replicate this feature, so I'm experimenting with this at the moment and will be tying some 'big-head buzzers' to try next time I'm out. It'll be interesting to see if that profile of buzzer will be more readily taken.
The head also seems to suspend the buzzer just under the surface. I suspect our non-floating buzzers are top heavy and fish upside down. Bodies are actually quite thick and I suspect that breathers are important trigger points. But slim and shaved seems to be the modern fashion with the epoxy cat walkers. And look at those segments!

Screenshot 2021-05-17 at 17.27.11.png
 

BobP

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In Search of the Perfect Buzzer Pattern

I been fishing buzzers successfully for decades. On a stillwater there isn't a day that I don't try them but I've never found what I'd call the perfect pattern.

Perfect for me means imitative - but not photorealistic - and easy to tie. I'm still looking for a convincing but simple way of suggesting segmentation, silvering of the segments, wing case and breathers.

What are your best patterns?

View attachment 39311
My most successful buzzer pattern for the last 7 or 8 years has been an updated version of Arthur Cove's Pheasant Tail. Dressing as follows:-

Hook: Curved or straight- I do both. 10-14, mostly 12
Rib: Copper wire - not too fine or it'll get bitten by the trout
Body: 4-6 fibres from a cock pheasant centre tail feather, Colour from pale to dark chestnut
Thorax: Seal fur mix. Base is Frankie McPhillips Donegal Olive. Add 10% red seal plus 10% pearl Litebrite chopped. Whizz up in a coffee grinder.
Head is a 2.4 to 2,8mm tungsten bead in copper, black or silver.

These are for fishing deep, ie 10' or so. I've caught lots of trout on these that have got live pupae in their mouths so I know what they are taking the artificial for. The fishing method is as deep as you can and slower than an arthritic snail using a yarn or wool indicator. If you don't you will not see even 10% of the takes because deep buzzer feeding trout do not go racing around like Lewis Hamilton.

That method is for early season when the water is cold. When we get into "proper" buzzer season the the dreaded Diawl Bach is seldom far from my leader. I might very well use a lighter version of the Cove above with perhaps a 2mm bead so it digs in and acts a bit like a sea anchor and helps to slow things down. Also high on my "hit" list is a pattern Charles Jardine wrote about some while ago in Fly Fishing & Fly Tying - how many of you sneer at the magazines & say there is nothing worth having in them? WRONG!! This is a good one and dead easy to tie.

Hook: Straight size 12
Thread: Red fluorescent
Tail: bunch of a dozen black cock hackle fibres.
Rib: Medium black Holographic
Body 1mm Black Micro chenille.

For security I do a counter rib of 6lb nylon as the Holgraphic is not very resistant to trout teeth.

A good middle dropper fly. DB above and my lighter Cove on the point. Magic!
 

JCP

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Dorset Wilts Borders & Baja
Strangely, me too. That's one reason I'm thinking more about it. The thing with the diawl bach is that it can be a buzzer or a damsel fly - or just a plain lure. Depending a bit on how fast or slow you fish it. It's also a good emergency dry fly when ginked-up.
When looking at the natural pupa, I've often thought that the head appears to be quite large in comparison to the diameter of the body. I don't think many patterns seem to replicate this feature, so I'm experimenting with this at the moment and will be tying some 'big-head buzzers' to try next time I'm out. It'll be interesting to see if that profile of buzzer will be more readily taken.
Some American style chironomid patterns have this profile using a white bead for the head.
1621753556487.png
 

iainmortimer

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Apr 5, 2014
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West Sussex
The head also seems to suspend the buzzer just under the surface. I suspect our non-floating buzzers are top heavy and fish upside down. Bodies are actually quite thick and I suspect that breathers are important trigger points. But slim and shaved seems to be the modern fashion with the epoxy cat walkers. And look at those segments!

View attachment 39318

I agree with the thicker body because one of my most successful patterns on small still waters is tied with a thick dubbed body which is definitely against the mainstream trend. Quite an unfussy thing and not hard to tie.

C9E6157A-8BA6-45A6-8044-C114CA914736.jpeg
 

Tangled

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The abdomen looks very copyable - mole fur with a wide polythene wrap? But there's no obvious head, it's all thorax with a semi-detached wing cover. Breathers are from the sides.

Screenshot 2021-05-28 at 21.44.58.png
 

septicsac

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Mar 14, 2013
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Some great info in there re buzzers. Our reservoir has banned indicators altogether, I get around this with a homemade yarn fly on a short dropper about 1 ft from the fly line, its more sensitive, but wont pass through the eye, but rarely need a leader that long as its shallow. Alternatively I will use a bright foam beetle on same dropper and have caught fish on both flies, albeit rarely.
 
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