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Variations on the Chubby Chernobyl

March 21, 2013

chubby chernobyl foam flies

The Chubby Chernobyl has been around for years, yet this fly is still the go-to fly for many fly fisherman and guides here in Montana.  Chernobyl-style flies have been catching fish for decades, starting with the basic, but deadly chernobyl ant back in 80’s, to the chernobyl hopper in the 90’s, to the present day chubby.  There is really nothing new about the chubby, as far as basic profile goes, yet the addition of a poly wing really makes this fly one of the most versatile flies ever for imitating adult stoneflies, grasshoppers, crickets, cicada, and even caddis.  The poly wing helps float this fly, with or without a heavy dropper nymph, in fast choppy water.  Also, the bright wing is easy to see in virtually any light conditions, making sure the angler doesn’t lose sight of his or her fly, and miss any subtle eats.

The standard Chubby Chernobyl does a great job of imitating bigger stoneflies and grasshoppers, yet with a little imaginative alteration, chubby-style flies can be tied to closer imitate smaller stoneflies and caddis, like black winter stoneflies, yellow sallies, skwala’s and october caddis as well.  I have tied effective chubby’s down to size 16 for yellow sallies and caddis, plus, size 16 chubby’s make great dry-dropper flies in the fall and spring during midge/baetis hatches because of their durability and floatability.

I have had great luck with Chubby Chernobyl flies in all size and colors.  Below are a few examples of chubby’s tied to imitate either specific bugs, or just general attractors.  I can’t wait to try the Royal Chubby Chernobyl this summer.  Tie some up and let me know how they work.


Variation #1:  Yellow Hopper Chubby

Tail:  Red crystal flash

Body:  Yellow dubbing

Foam:  Cocoa 2mm foam

Wing:  Poly wing, macrame yarn, mcflylon

Legs:  Medium barred brown/black rubber legs

Variation #2:  Bullet Head Chubby Chernobyl

Tail:  Pearl crystal flash

Body:  Brown UV Ice Dub

Foam:  Black 2mm foam

Wing:  White poly

Legs:  Purple sili-legs

Eyes:  Purple 2mm foam

Variation #3 :  Olive Chubby Chernobyl

Tail:  Pearl crystal flash

Body: Olive Ice Dub

Foam:  Olive 2mm foam

Wing:  White poly

Legs:  Tan sili-legs

Variation #4:  Norm Wood Chubby Chernobyl

Tail:  Pearl crystal flash

Body:  Goldenstone dubbing, orange dubbing near head of fly

Foam:  Tan 2mm foam

Wing:  White poly

Legs:  Brown sili-legs


Variation #5:  Fuzzy Foam Chubby – Purple

Body:  Fuzzy Foam Purple

Wing:  White Poly

Foam Wing:  Brown 1mm Foam.  I use a foam wing on this pattern to help push the wing back without using dubbing or a lot of thread wraps.

Legs:  White/black barred round rubber legs

Variation #6:  Pink Bodied Chubby Chernobyl

Tail:  Pearl crystal flash

Body: Pink dubbing

Foam:  Tan 2mm Foam

Wing:  Pink Poly

Legs:  Barred rubber legs


Variation #7:  Yellow Sally Chubby

Body:  Goldenrod Round Foam Body

Wing:  Fine Poly Yarn

Legs:  Fine barred rubber legs


Variation #8:  Fuzzy Chubby Salmonfly

Tail:  Brown crystal flash

Body:  2mm fuzzy foam in Salmonfly

Wing:  Charcoal Poly Wing

Legs:  Brown sili-legs


Variation #9:  Royal Chubby Chernobyl 

Tail:  Brown biots

Body: Peacock herl, red floss

Foam:  Brown 2mm Foam

Wing:  White poly

Legs:  Barred white/black sili-legs


Variation #10:  Brown Chubby Chernobyl

Tail:  Brown crystal flash

Body:  Brown Ice Dubbing

Foam:  Brown 2mm foam

Wing: White poly

Legs:  Brown barred super floss


Vatiation #11:  Black and Tan Chubby

Tail:  Pearl crystal flash

Body:  Tan Ice Dubbing

Foam:  Black 2mm foam

Wing:  White poly

Legs:  Black and Gold sili-legs


Variation #12:  Skwala Chubby Chernobyl

Egg Sac:  Black 2mm Foam

Under-wing:  Tape wing

Body:  Olive Ice Dubbing

Foam:  Olive 1mm foam

Wing:  Fine gray poly, or cdc

Legs:  Fine sili-legs

004chubbyvariationsVariation #13:  Fuzzy Chubby – Realistic Goldenstone

Body:  Fuzzy Foam – Realistic Goldenstone

Wing:  White Poly

Foam Wing:  Brown 1mm Foam

Legs:  Gold barred rubber legs – brown

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert Farrell permalink
    March 21, 2013 2:05 pm

    Very cool. I’m interested to see if I like the flexi floss legs this season. This weather sure makes a guy ready to see a fish eat a big bug on top.


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