Purple Beaver

Purple Beaver

- By Mike Andreasen

This pattern was derived from variegated black and tan chenille after the arangement produced excellent results in Parkland Lakes. There is something about the mottled underbody that acts as a trigger when emulating a leech. The fly was called the Beaver and Tan. Some editions saw the addition of a gold bead which led to the belief that the fly was even more effective.

Probably the most effective addition was adding strips of purple Flashabou along either flank of the body and extending into the tail. Since many leeches have that mottled effect with some colors in the purple spectrum there is a good explanation why the arrangement works better than the original is some cases. The name for the alteration became the Purple Beaver. Go figure. There’s no actual beaver fur in it anywhere.

Leave out the purple Flashabou if you so choose and you have the original killing pattern. The fly is deadly everywhere but absolutely cooked on East Goose and Tokaryk Lakes. Add weight near the head of fly. Since it’s a “round” pattern the shank can simply be wrapped with lead wire. Tie sparse for clear water and add some lateral line appeal for murky or algae stained conditions.

In some lakes the fly works better with a medium brown hackle and brown tail.

This is a standard woolly bugger tie. The only choices is whether to add a bead or not -- adding Flashabou or not. Such subtle differences are often the difference between a great day or an average experience on the water.


Type Notes


10 to 6x - 2x to 3x Long


Black 3/0 Monocord


Lead wrapped near head of fly - around hook shank


Black or Brown Marabou - Some tyers add Olive or Gold Krystal Flash on either side of the tail. Keep it sparse for clear water and bushy for stained or algae conditions.


Brown or Black Saddle Hackle


Black and Tan Medium Variegated Chenille


Purple Flashabou along either flank - leave out for original version


(Optional) - Some tyers counter wind the hackle with Fine Gold Wire to make pattern more durable. Probably a good idea since these flies have a short lifespan from being so effective.