Top Spring Sowbug Patterns for the Bighorn River

Top Spring Sowbug Patterns for the Bighorn River

March 17, 2020 6:58 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Sowbugs have no doubt become maybe the most abundant food source underneath the surface for Bighorn trout.  We’ve come quite a ways from the Ray Charles, although still a very effective fly.  There’s no doubt this year with a few less fish in the river,  the fish will be more selective and having a range of different patterns will be a must.  Here are some of the top Sowbugs our guides have selected for 2020.  They are available in the shop and our webstore at

  • Cotton Candy – At first glance, it looks like a pink scud, bug is actually much more than that.   The secret blend of dubbing is the ticket for this Sowbug.  We really like this one in the bigger sizes (12, 14) on most Spring days.
  • Pete’s Carpet Bug – Definitely our top selling Sowbug in the shop.  I created this for a more exact Sowbug imitation and is pretty tough to boot!
  • Jellybean Sowbug – This simple Sowbug is a breeze to tie and the fish love them!
  • BA Ray Charles – We customized the standard Ray a bit and really think it makes a difference sometimes.
  • Eddie Vedder – This spinoff on the classic Ray Charles works well throughout the entire season on the Bighorn.   It features just a bit of UV flash which really captures the fishes attention.
  • Red Bead Ray – A pattern that has been in our backpocket for a few seasons.  Get some and see the red bead work its magic!


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This post was written by Pete Shanafelt

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