Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carrol on the Tuttle's Devil Bug

Over the next several months, I’m going to feature the fishing tackle writing of one of my all-time favorite writers, Dixie Carroll (Carroll Blaine Cook). These famed pieces of tackle were featured in his great book Fishing Tackle and Kits. They are fascinating write-ups of the tackle from a contemporary perspective. Below is Dixie’s write up on the Tuttle Devil Bug, one of fly fishing’s greatest inventions.\

TUTTLE'S DEVIL BUG - Made by O. C. Tuttle, Old Forge, N. Y. Along comes Tuttle with a little old bass bug that he has been hogging all to him self and a few friends for a few seasons and believe me it is a great little lure. It is made of hair in the natural colors, browns, grey and white, and what It looks like to the bass and trout I do not know but it looks more like a mouse than anything else or a large doodle bug whatever that is. The loose hairs on the back and the bunched tail have a lively move in the water and the game fish simply cannot let it get away from them. It is tied on a single hook and snelled with a good strong gut. For night-fishing it is a winner, it certainly gets the fish. Not only in casting is it good dope but in trolling it shines. Blow a little dry-fly oil on one of these Devil Bugs and let it float down around the boulder into the quiet spot behind and the rise you get will nearly throw you off your feet. I have one of these bugs that took 203 bass and 17 trout; the largest bass a 4 3/4 pounder and the largest speckled beauty an even two pounder. Made in a larger size this bug ought to interest the musky and I am going to have Tuttle tie one for try-out on that big ruffian of the underwater. The whites and greys in the smaller sizes make good trout lures, they have extended hair wings that give them the appearance of a white miller. These bugs are made strong and solid being wrapped with fine wire and will hold up for many a cast, in fact they are practically indestructible. A good lure, made right and of good material all the way through.

— Dr. Todd

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