Boobies are no doubt a weird fly. I don’t know what they necessarily imitate, if anything, or why they work. I just know that I’ve experienced many days when they seem to catch fish to the exclusion of just about anything else. Between the buoyant foam eyes and the typically densely wrapped body, they tend to move very erratically when fished on a sinking line and they push a lot of water, which produces a sonic footprint that fish can sense. There is something about these qualities that make trout want to absolutely destroy boobies at times and I’ve found it pretty rewarding to carry a small selection in my box for those days when other flies can’t seem to seal the deal. The Pumpkinhead Booby in my mind actually looks somewhat like a dragonfly nymph and seems to work really well throughout the summer and early fall in a lot of lakes, but I’ll tie this same profile fly in all sorts of gaudy colors like fluorescent orange and pink or chartreuse and black and enjoy surprising success. An all white version seems to be especially effective in the fall. Cast as far as you comfortably can on a full sinking line with a stout leader 3-4′ long, count it down to the appropriate depth and retrieve it in short quick strips. Hang on tight to your cork because there is seldom much subtlety to the way trout hit these things.

Pumpkinhead Booby:
Hook: #6 Gamakatsu B10S
Thread: 140 Denier Olive Ultra Thread
Tail: Olive Marabou
Body: Olive UV Life Flex
Wing: Olive Marabou
Eyes: Medium Orange Booby Eyes

Confluence Beer Pairing:
This month’s beer recommendation is out of Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage Alaska. You’re probably not going to find it around Bellingham but if you happen to be roving around the last frontier on a fishing trip or for any other purpose, crack open a Pleasure Town IPA and enjoy the ride. Yes, I totally bought it based on the can (I mean, how could you not?) but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a decent, balanced and wholeheartedly drinkable beer. If you cringe at the reality of paying $13 for a sixer in our neck of the woods, brace yourself for a bit of sticker shock up north. Just remember, the fishing can be so famously epic in Alaska that it’s a worthwhile and celebratory occasion to shell out a couple of extra bucks.

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