"It was late October and Barry and I were hosting a group of anglers for Frontiers Travel at Boca Palia on Mexico’s Yucatan coast.
Prior to our arrival Mitch, a category five hurricane, was south of us but not expected to hit the Yucatan. Still it hovered in the back of my mind. Our first day out on the water we were hit with bad news — the storm overnight had changed direction and we were now directly in its path.
Fast forward a few hours to the now boarded up Holiday Day Inn Express in Cancan. The owner left, headed inland to Meredith. Before leaving he left us with four cases of water and a box full of candles. His last words were, “Good Luck, hope to see you in a couple days.”
Three days of torrential rain followed but luckily no severe hurricane damage to Cancun. We stayed inside and tied flies.
We knew that we would probably go back to Boca after the storm passed as our original plan was to spend three weeks at the lodge.
Thinking that we would find dirty water from the storm, I decided to create a crab-like fly that would give off vibrations that might attract a fish. I wanted the fly to be on the bulky side and it had to look alive.
When I finished I asked Barry to take a look. The tan Marabou tail had a hint of crystal flash, the bulky body was a series of grizzly dyed tan hen body feathers tightly packed up to the lead eyes.
Three silicone sili-legs protruded out from the sides of the fly and finally a tan dubbing brush was figured-eighted around the eyes.
Barry replied that it looked like a souped up wooly bugger on steroids. I liked that so I named it Super Bugger and so the fly was born in a boarded up hotel room during the second most deadly hurricane in history (or it was at that time).
So although the first Super Bugger was of salt water design, after returning home I quickly turned to a freshwater application and extended the colors to black and olive.
Fished right it is my go to fly whenever I think of fishing streamers. To date in the salt I have indeed caught permit, bonefish, redfish and even a snook on the super bugger.
On the freshwater side a 16 and a half pound rainbow from Argentina’s Jurassic Lake is my best. They say you have to have faith in your fly and I have a mountain of faith in the Super Bugger!"
- Signature tyer Cathy Beck