Fat As a King

Tying the Purple Royal Chubby.

The Chubby Chernobyl is one of the most popular flies amongst anglers in southwest Montana. It floats like a champ, it’s highly visible, and it catches fish. And the fact that it can be tied in sizes ranging from a salmonfly to a yellow sally, and in unlimited color combinations, make it very versatile. I have attempted to combine the popular purple and royal colors to create the purple royal chubby. 

Hook: Dai-Riki 710 6-14, or equivalent
Thread: Veevus GSP 100 denier
Tail: Half medium brown, half UV purple krystal flash
Body: Back 1/3 and front 1/3 UV brown ice dub; middle 1/3 red ice dub (the UV brown can also be substituted with purple UV ice dub)
Back: Brown 2mm foam with fork cut in back to simulate tails
Wing: Light tan widow’s web
Legs: Hareline micro grizzly legs

1. Start the thread and tie in a tail of krystal flash (approximately 4-6 strands of medium brown and six strands of UV purple half the length of the shank).
2. Dub the entire length of body: brown UV ice dub on the back third of the shank, red ice dub for the middle third, and UV brown for the front third. Tie off and cut the thread at the eye of the hook.
3. Prepare a strip of brown foam that’s as wide as the hook gap and 1.5 times the length of the hook shank. Cut a fork into the back of the strip and trim the two corners off the front of the strip.
4. Start the thread directly above the hook point. Tie in the foam strip with the forks facing toward the rear. The length should match that of the krystal flash.
5. Tie in the Widow’s Web. The length of the wing should extend just beyond the krystal flash and foam. Fold the Widow’s Web over to double the material in the wing and tie in.
6. Cut two grizzly legs that are twice the length of the hook shank. Tie in one on each side of the hook by folding it in half. The legs should be tied against the body rather than the foam, so they splay out properly.
7. Add a small amount of brown ice dub to cover the thread wraps, and whip finish.
8. Restart the thread about an eye-length behind the eye of the hook.
9. Repeat steps 5-8. Make sure the front wing extends to be even with the rear wing.
10. For added durability, add some thin Loctite or head cement where the legs and wings are tied in.

Jimmy “Loosewraps” Armijo-Grover guides for and is the general manager of Gallatin River Guides in Big Sky.