Tying the Humpy

~By: Lance Dean | March 11, 2017

Humpy Fly Pattern
The Humpy is a classic pattern that has been responsible for many, many fish.

The first humpy I tied was a disaster.  The hump was too small with too many crinkled and broken elk hair fiber.  The hair wings were very uneven meaning one wing was thicker than the other and they sat too far back on the hook shank. In other words it was a mess and very discouraging. 

Humpy Fly Pattern
The Humpy
As with other patterns and techniques I have learned, I practiced tying the Humpy over and over until I had the techniques involved figured out.  I read anything I could find about tying a humpy and other hair wing flies. The biggest help came from “Charlie Craven’s Fly Tying Basics”, the strategy he uses to apply the techniques required to tie the Humpy were very insightful in making the humpy as uncomplicated as possible.  Another book I found helpful was “Western Trout Fly Tying Manual Vol. 2” by Jack Dennis. Jack has an informative chapter entitled “The Royal Humpy” that was very helpful.  Fly Fish Food has an article about a fly they call the Grumpy Frumpy, which is a variation of the Humpy which was helpful in figuring out the proportions of the hump.

Humpy Fly Pattern
Pheasant tippet tail with a foam hump.
I can’t say it enough, the techniques required to tie the Humpy require lots and lots of practice. So don’t think for a second that you can tie a half dozen of these babies and become a “Master” of the Humpy.  The most difficult part of the hair hump is making sure that all the fibers stay on top of the fly and keeping it sparse enough that the hair fibers lay down properly, yet not so sparse that the hump over powers the proportions of the Humpy.  The hair wings are no different than any other hair wing fly; however, if you have never tied a hair wing fly before this could be quite a challenge.  Just remember to take your time while tying the Humpy.

Humpy Fly Pattern
Snowflake Humpy
There are as many different variations of the Humpy as there are ways to tie it.  One version I like is The Royal Humpy which utilizes calf tail hair for the wings rather than the typical elk or deer hair.  Another variation I like is Clark Pierce’s of Fly Fish Food Grumpy Frumpy.  This version has the wing which can be tied with a multitude of synthetic options and is tied at the front of the hook, it is a single wing rather than a split one, and has a foam hump with a thread band around it. The last version I feel like mentioning is one that is found as a picture in the Introduction of “Charlie Craven’s Fly Tying Basics” this variation has a hump of what I think is loco foam.   I’ve tied and fished all of these variations and can’t say that one fished better than the other. These Humpy variations are all nice flies that are a blast to tie once you get the techniques down and are a blast to fish.

The key to learning the Humpy is the same as any other fly – Be patient and practice tying it.  I am no where near a master of the Humpy but the more I tie the more they improve.  Please enjoy this demonstration of me tying the Humpy. And as usual please follow fishbaitsflybox.com by clicking HERE. “Like” Fishbait’s Fly Box on Facebook by clicking HERE and subscribe to Fishbait’s Fly Box on YouTube by clicking HERE and then click subscribe.

HOOK: TCM 100 size 14
THREAD: UTC 140 -Fl. Pink
TAIL: Moose Body Hair
WING: Yearling Elk Hair
HUMP: Yearling Elk Hair
HACKLE: Saddle Hackle - Brown and Grizzly

Humpy (variation)
HOOK: TCM 100 size 14
THREAD: UTC 140 - Fl Orange
TAIL: Golden Pheasant Tippet
WING: Yearling Elk Hair
HUMP: 2mm Loco Foam cut to 1mm
UNDERBODY: Peacock Herl
HACKLE: Saddle Hackle - Grizzly and Brown


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