I have read the legendary Girdle Bug pattern was first developed in the 1930’s by Frank McGinnis of Anaconda, Montana. Originally called “McGinnis Rubber Legs“. Since the original pattern used rubber strands from a woman’s girdle for the legs the name eventually changed to the Girdle Bug. McGinnis’s developed the fly to entice the Big Hole’s lunker trout.
Today, there are many variations of the Girdle Bug, including Pat’s Rubber Legs, The Turd, Jimmy Legs, and many more. The rubber strands from a girdle have been replaced with newer materials, such as: Sexi-Legs, Spanflex, Life-Flex. and in assorted colors. I will share my killer variation in another post.
The Giant stonefly nymphs (see Pteronarcys dorsata) live in our freestone rivers take 2-4 years to develop, which makes the Girdle Bug an essential pattern for your fly box. Afterall, what large trout can resist a steak drifting by?
I find the fly pattern most effective in larger hook sizes, such as a size #4 3xl streamer hook, weighted or unweighted. Spring and Fall is a great time to drift the pattern in the faster runs and along the stream banks. Especially, in the early mornings or evenings.