Warmwater Fly of the month: May, 2002 - The Calcasieu Pig Boat

Tying the Calcasieu Pig Boat


"The Calcasieu Pig Boat saw the light of day in early in 1951 on the Calcasieu River in southwest Louisana. At the time the Hawaiian Wiggler was one of the prime under water casting rod Bass lurers. It had action, color, enticement and ws easy to cast and maneuver. It was a good bass bait. to digress for a moment; way wouldn't it be a good bait today? The Bass did not see enough of it for their instincts to indicate fear of it. The fish that fell for it were in a skillet and unable to pass a word of caution to the others. Would the Wiggler be good today?"

The Hawaiian Wiggler skirt with its maxiaction formed the main attraction and the depth the lure could operate in presented this maxiaction at it's very best to the vast majority of the available fish…………..

The Calcasieu Pig Boat either bare or with one of the variety of weed guards is a good Bass fly. It has size, bulk, and action, three perquisites needed to be classify as a Good Bass Fly. Its active rubber shirt will react enticingly to most any input generated by the rod hand. With a fast retrieve or holding in fast water it is a slim tail weaving minnow. No retrieve in still or slow moving water it is a slow sinking mass moving, undulating appendages that are not quite susceptible to the slightest twitch of the rod tip.

Retrieving rather quickly with a high held rod makes the Pig Boat a skittering surface lure. Adding pauses to this retrieve allows the fly to sink a bit and then struggle to regain the surface. A sinking tip line, short heavy leader and a pause of varying lengths will put the fly at most any hunting depth desired. An upstream presentation with the same rig can mean a bottom bumping pattern that can run cruising smallmouth nuts.

Added weight as lead wire under the chenille body or a small split shot on the leader will make this predominately shallow hunting fly into a prober of the depths. The addition of a small one sixteenth ounce slip sinker on the leader changes this versatile Bass accumulator into a flipping lure or better yet into a vertical fishing jig. Carefully lowered into submerged tree tops, heavy brush or weeds and jigged up and down can many times be the answer to a slow or boring outing. The Calcasieu Pig Boat can go wherever vour imagination. experience or whims will send it. It is worth your time and attention."

The above information was taken from Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Bass and Panfish, Third Edition, Revised by Tom Nixon. Tom Nixon tying at the Federation of Fly Fishers Southern Council Concalve. In 1986, he was awarded the FFF Henshall Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Promoting the Enjoyment or Convervation of Warm Water Fishiers.


Hook: Size 2/0 Mustad 3366 (Or Tiemco 8089 #2)
Thread: Black Size A (I used 3/0 Monocord)
Skirt: Black rubber hackle or rubber thread that has not been separated
Hackle: Two or Three wide and long black saddle hackles
Body: Large black chenille for one pass or medium chenille with two passes
Eyes: Painted
Weight: Optional, this depends on how fast and how deep you want the fly to go

Note: you can use a variety of color rubber hackle, chenille and saddle hackle

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Step 1: Start by separating a strip of rubber hackle and dividing it so that it contanins 14 individual strands 12 inchs long. Do not separate any of the individual strands at this time. Now cut the 12 inch piece of rubber hackle into 4, 3 inch strips.
Step 2: Make a pointed cut on both sides of the hackle strip starting at one end of the 3 inch strip approximately 1/4 of an inch from the tip to the beginning of the cut. After you have completed this do it to the other three strips of rubber hackle. Once this is tied on the hook, it will help to produce a tappered head on the fly.
Step 3: Starting from the behind the eye of the hook lay a thread foundation stopping the thread on the shank of the hook even with the tip of the barb. Tie in your two saddle hackles and work your thread forward to approximately 3/8 of an inch from the eye of the hook.
Step 4: Tie in a piece of medium chenille and wrap to the beginning of the where the sadle hackle is tied.
Step 5: Then rap the medium chenille foward to where you firsted tied in the chenille. Take about 2-3 wraps to secure the chenille and the cut off the excess.
Step 6: Wind the two saddle hackles forward and secure the right in front of the chenille.

Step 7: Take a strip of rubber hackle and tie it to the side of the hook closest to you. Tie in the hackle with the tip toward the eye of the hook with the tip of the rubber hackle about 1/16 from the eye of the hook. When tying in the rubber hackle, you should be sure that you wrap the thread about 1/16 of an inch behind where you started to make the cut for the tip. Tie the rubber hackle right in front of the chenille. Click on the two images to see in detail where to start the thread.


Step 8: Tie the rubber hackle secure on the hook and work your thread back to where you started the thread. Apply a small amount of CA+ glue on to the thread and take a couple of wraps of the thread.

Step 9 : Tie in the second piece of rubber hackle on the top of the hook as in Step 7 and repeat Step 8.

Step 10: Tie in the third piece of rubber hackle on far side of the hook as in Step 7 and repeat Step 8.

Step 11: Tie in the forth piece of rubber hackle onthe bottom side of the hook as in Step 7 and repeat Step 8.

Step 12: Take the thread make a tappered head of the fly. Whip finish and apply head cement (Sally's Hard as Nails) Wait until the head cement has dried and then make your painted eyes.

Step 13: Now separate the individual strands of rubber hacle from each other. Your should end up with 56 individual strands of rubber hacle.