The Skitterbug was a creation of mine that I came up with in 2007 to target bluegill and other panfish. It has caught a number of species, including bluegill, stumpknocker, Mayan cichlid, largemouth bass, oscar and peacock bass.
Fly anglers are more familiar with Gibby's D.T. Variation, one of the greatest beach snook flies in Florida. I have been using this fly since the early 1990s.
Writer Stuart Patterson contacted me to write the article. I met Patterson last fall when I was a featured tyer at the Federation of Fly Fishers Florida Council Conclave in Kissimmee.
Naples guide Matt Hoover sent me an original D.T. Special. Hoover told me it would be the only fly I'd ever need in the surf while fly fishing for beach snook. He was right!
I "tweaked" the fly over the years to suit my needs, leading to Gibby's D.T. Variation. I tied the tail feathers on facing each other rather than splaying them so that the fly would sink just a little quicker. I added 3D eyes, added some read thread to the nose and epoxied the head. In addition, I left the hook shank bare.
The fly has caught literally thousands of snook up to 39 inches. It's durable and extremely productive.
Over the years, I've caught a variety of other fish on it: redfish, spotted seatrout, jack crevalle, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, flounder, little tunny, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. I probably omitted a couple of other species.
I'm honored to have both flies received such praise.