Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

These rather bizarre fly patterns come to us from the reservoir trout fisheries in the U. K. An Internet search of “Blob Fly” will reveal an array of information on tying these patterns, the materials used, how to fish them, and also a lot of controversy—which is not unexpected. Anglers tend to be very opinionated about this type of pattern. Some love them simply because they work so well. Others try hard to find something in nature that Blobs might “imitate.” A few are outraged that anyone would fish with such things and would like to see them outlawed.

Those in the imitation camp like to say Blob Flies resemble a clump of Daphnia, a tiny crustacean that lives in many lakes. In my opinion that’s a bit of a stretch. I think Blobs function as a pure behavioral trigger, much like their cousins the Green Weenie and the Mop Fly. The Blob works because it makes a fish curious enough to mouth it. I have no problem with that. Frankly, I believe that’s why most artificial flies catch fish most of the time.

From what I’ve seen so far, there are three basic versions of this fly. The standard Blob consists of nothing more than a layer of “Jelly Fritz” on a hook. The F. A. B. (Foam-Assed Blob) adds a short bit of foam cylinder at the rear end. You can tie a Blob with a Marabou tail–a weird sort of Woolly Bugger I suppose. Numerous other uses await discovery. This is a material that cries out for experimentation.

There are two basic types of Jelly Fritz, “boosted” and “unboosted.” The unboosted type is composed solely of translucent, plastic-looking fibers that really do resemble jelly when wet. Boosted Jelly Fritz adds much finer fibers near the core, is bulkier, and gives a more solid and somewhat opaque quality. I find the boosted material too bulky on a #8 hook, which is about as large as I’d care to tie these flies.

Since the basic version is so ridiculously easy to tie, here are directions for the F. A. B. Fritz material is hard on scissors, so it’s advisable to use a utility knife or scraper blade when cutting away excess material. If you want to see a video of this pattern, Davie McPhail has one on his You Tube site.

The F. A. B.
Hook: Size 8 standard wet fly
Thread: Davie McPhail uses 8/0. I like 3/0 Danville Monocord, take your pick. Color to match, coordinate, or contrast with body material.
Tail: 3/16” foam parachute post, color as you wish
Body: Jelly Fritz, color as you wish. Use a single color, two colors wound together along the hook shank, or one color on the back end of the body and another on the front.

  1. De-barb hook and mount in vise.
  2. Lay a thread base from the head position back to the tail position.
  3. Select a foam parachute post (or cylinder) and use your scissors to split the foam in half lengthwise at one end, for about a half-inch or so.
  4. Position the split end of the foam so that it straddles the hook shank and extends to the rear just short of the hook bend.
  5. Catch the foam down with several firm thread turns. (If you have trouble getting the foam to stay in place, try putting a tiny dab of Superglue on the thread base at the tie-down point before mounting the foam.) Trim off the foam about two hook-eye-widths from the back edge of the hook eye. Wrap the working thread forward over the foam stub, binding it to the hook shank, then rearward back to the tail position. Wrap the thread forward and back a second time to compress the foam and to make sure it’s well-secured and won’t twist out of position as the body material is wrapped.
  6. Cut a length of Jelly Fritz about 3-1/2 inches long. Strip some fibers from one end to expose the thread core.
  7. Tie in the Fritz by the thread core, and then advance the working thread to the head position.
  8. Wrap the Fritz forward in touching turns, stroking the fibers rearward after each wrap, up to the head position. Don’t crowd the hook eye. Bind down with three firm thread wraps over the material and three turns ahead of it.
  9. Pull the excess Fritz firmly upward and carefully touch the blade to the core of the material to sever it. Take care not to cut into your tying thread. Build up a substantial thread head.
  10. Do a double-whip finish (or if you’re half-hitching use 6 hitches) and apply cement.

Although I haven’t yet used this fly extensively, I was quite intrigued when I first saw it and obtained some Fritz material as soon as it became available. There are several companies in Europe and the U. K. selling it. The brand most commonly available on this side of The Pond is from a company called “Frozen North Flyfishing, or FNF.” It’s available from J. Stockard. Note that the FNF “unboosted” version is simply called Jelly Fritz and the “boosted” version is called Slush Jelly.

When first shopping for Jelly Fritz, I was confronted with an array of fascinating colors. It was hard to choose among them. Considering my well-known liking for the Green Weenie, however, it was easy to opt for the fluorescent chartreuse color with the fanciful name “Hulk.” I have seen both a plain and a UV version. The latter includes some UV fibers that flash purple and really pop in sunlight.

I tied several F. A. B’s and tucked them away in one of the fly boxes in my lake fishing tackle bag. I first fished my Blob flies on a springtime trip with my canoe to one of my favorite local lakes. Of course it doesn’t take a lot of effort to find an effective panfish fly for lake fishing at that time of year. However, a chartreuse F. A. B. with a yellow foam tail worked noticeably better than anything else my fishing companion or I tried that day. It was a veritable fish magnet.

Blobs don’t seem as successful in river and stream environments. Maybe there’s something to that Daphnia theory after all. I don’t know, but I plan to continue experimenting with them.


  1. Very interesting, Mary, thanks. Once again you have beaten me to the punch! …I’ve been working on an article about something a bit similar (although not exact) but need some more fishing time on it (which is hard to get with the “shelter at home” thing going on) before finishing that article. I’ll wait awhile and then out with it.

    I don’t see references in your article to the similarity between these blobs and egg patterns, which was the first thing that came to my mind when I read it. What do you think about such similarities? Curious.

    1. Sorry I stepped on your idea. Great minds think alike, perhaps? No doubt you”ll have a different take on the Fritz products than mine. It’s all good. Yes, Jelly Fritz comes in a number of egg-friendly colors and would certainly be a good choice for larger egg patterns. Especially the Slush Jelly. Maybe this didn’t occur to me because the material as currently available is just too big for the size eggs I tie. I suppose you could resort to a bit of trimming? I may have to give that a try.

      1. No step-on! My idea will differ. Still there are one or two similarities.

        I never fish egg patters but I’ve seen some in chartreuse, and some sparkly too. Just wondered. I’m the least of any of us who could claim familiarity to egg patterns.

        Anyway I like the article, thanks!

        1. I tie and use a number of “egg” patterns, in a range of colors. I use them for Great Lakes tributary salmon and Steelhead fishing. I also incidentally catch Redhorse Suckers on them and enjoy that very much. I use Glo-Bugs, in a natural egg color with an orange yolk spot, in as small as a size 16 for local trout fishing. Sometimes they’re just the ticket. Despite my willingness to go slumming with this kind of stuff, I don’t care to tie or fish with flies like Gummy Minnows, Squirmy Wormies, or flies that are constructed like models out of pre-fabricated parts. However, as long as it’s within the letter of the law I have no issue with those who enjoy fishing them. To each his own, said the farmer as he kissed his pig.

          1. Well said, pre-fabbed parts are out, unless I fabbed ’em myself with a scissors. I don’t use egg patterns simply because when I open the fly box I always pick something I’ve caught fish on before. Also don’t tend to use what I can’t strip back toward me in the shallows. An egg yanking itself upstream in 3-inch surges may not look that natural.

  2. “You catch fish on the flies you fish.” That may sound obvious, but it doesn’t seem to occur to a lot of people. I often have a variation of this discussion regarding the notorious Green Weenie. The person will say that they never catch anything on Weenies. When I ask how often they fish them, they usually say, well, never. That would explain it. As for eggs moving, no doubt natural ones don’t except of course for drifting with the current. And when they do drift, it’s usually by rolling along the bottom–a presentation that’s devilishly difficult to impossible for an angler to achieve with an artificial. For many years when fishing egg flies I would immediately pick up for another cast when I lost what was presumably the dead-drift portion of the presentation. One day, however, just as I was about to cast again I spotted a trout following the now-swinging egg fly. I decided to see what would happen. The trout followed the fly until it was hanging straight downstream on a tight line, paused a moment, then ate it. Fish don’t always know what they’re supposed to do. Since then, I’m never in a hurry to make the next cast. It’s surprising how often I get a hook up with this unconventional approach. The late, great Ernest Schwiebert describes in his books fishing large stonefly nymph patterns on a downstream swing while pulsing the rod tip. Stonefly nymphs can’t swim actively against the current any more than an egg can. Works anyway.

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