The Martineau Heavy Helgy: A Big Fly for Big Fish

Written by: Gary Martineau

Big fly, big fish” may be an old adage, but it’s as true now as ever. The bigger the protein source, the farther a big fish will move for it to get a protein fix. I’ve caught plenty of good fish on RS2s and other size 20 flies, but mostly on spring creeks and tailwaters, where you sight-fish and have to all but hit the trout on the nose. In faster, heavier, deeper, or cloudy water, a big trout isn’t going to go out of its way for a size 20 anything. It might not chase a Woolly Bugger or streamer, either, because often the natural baitfish will escape in such water, making any chase a waste of the trout’s energy. Big stoneflies and helgrammites don’t swim away, which makes them more attractive to big trout.

The MartineauHeavy Helgy is big enough, has plenty of motion, and dead-drifts so naturally that it entices big fish to move for it, even if the drift is not perfect. You simply won’t find a more productive and consistent fly in these situations.

But bigger isn’t better all by itself. With the Heavy Helgy, I also tried to create a fly with “bugginess,” movement, and enough weight to get down to the bigger fish fast–especially in heavier water. I also wanted a profile that was realistic, but still big like the natural. To achieve all this, I use a slightly bent hook to give the fly the curvature a natural has when drifting in the water. A weighted underbody helps add to the flat appearance but more importantly gets the fly sinking as soon as it hits the water, while the natural muskrat dubbing and grizzly hackle allow the nymph to drift like a natural.

The brown hackle forelegs and Bodi-Stretch casing create a natural-looking segmentation and movement, while the forked biots at the tail and head mimic that of the natural insect. The soft-hackle “legs” not only aid the drift, but give the fly an overall buggy look that gets fish to take.
 
Presentation
One of the most effective ways I’ve found to fish the Heavy Helgy is in deep riffles and fast runs and at the heads of runs, where the water is choppy and drops into deeper water. I can’t tell you the number of  times I’ve caught fish after fish at the heads of runs, in the agitated whitewater that is so often overlooked by anglers or difficult to fish well with unweighted or smaller nymphs.

The Heavy Helgy gets down fast, right to where the fish stack up and have just a split second to make a decision to feed. The size and movement of the Helgy induces hard strikes in this water, often from the biggest fish. Try high-sticking with a full floating line to let the fly sink and to get the most realistic dead drift possible. If the water is especially deep and heavy, add weight 18-20 inches above the fly as necessary. Another great technique is to “crawl” the Helgy. That is, take line in slowly through the fingers. This adds subtle, lifelike action to the fly that trout and salmon jump on.

Fish the Heavy Helgy all season long, at anytime of the day, hatch or no hatch. The larger sizes are fantastic early and late in the season, or in cloudy water, when trout are really looking for that one-shot protein fix. The Helgy works even in the midseason at high noon. In these conditions, you’re best bet is to fish a slightly lighter tippet and a smaller, size 10 Helgy to pick up good fish consistently, often when nothing else produces. It’s also a great attention-grabber for a smaller dropper off the back. The fly is not only great for big trout but for bass, too. The bass knock this fly dead.

Martineau Heavy Helgy

Martineau’s Heavy Helgy
Hook:
Mustad 7594, sizes 4 through 10.
Thread: Brown Monocord or similar.
Weight: Large diameter lead-free wire.
Cement: Dave’s Flexament.
Tail: Brown mahogany turkey biots, clipped at a steep angle.
Overbody: 1/4-inch brown Bodi-Stretch.
Abodmen Underbody: Brown chenille
Thorax Underbody: Tan Sparkle Chenille
Legs: Brown mahogany turkey biots, unclipped.
Gills/Forelegs: Two short-barb brown hackles.
Head & Wing Case: Folded Bodi-Stretch.
Mandibles: Pair of small shoulder feathers from wing of ruffed grouse, clipped at tip to form horseshoe shape.

Note: for complete step-by-step instructions visit the Martineau Heavy Helgy page at orvis.com.

Gary Martineau is a lifelong fly tier, rod builder, and fly fisherman. A former research biologist for Vermont Fish & Wildlife, he holds a degree in fisheries and wildlife biology. His Martineau Heavyweight Stonefly pattern was the best-selling fly ever sold in The Orvis News.



23 thoughts on “The Martineau Heavy Helgy: A Big Fly for Big Fish

  1. Xt genix Forum

    I know this web site gives quality based articles
    or reviews and additional information, is there any other web page which presents such data in quality?

    Reply
  2. télécharger emulateur Psp gratuit

    Right here is the right site for anybody who wishes to find out
    about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue
    with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that’s been discussed for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    Reply
  3. Sybil

    Hello, I believe your website might be having browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however when
    opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I simply wanted to provide you with a quick
    heads up! Besides that, fantastic site!

    Reply
  4. Nervousjournal700.tumblr.com

    Your means of describing everything in this piece of writing is really nice, all can
    without difficulty understand it, Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  5. Nike air max

    I drop a leave a response whenever I appreciate a
    post on a website or if I have something to valuable to contribute to the conversation.
    Usually it is triggered by the passion displayed in the post I browsed.
    And on this article The Martineau Heavy Helgy: A Big Fly for
    Big Fish | Orvis News. I was moved enough to post a commenta response 🙂 I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay.

    Could it be simply me or do a few of the comments come across like they are
    written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at other places, I would like to keep up with you.
    Would you list all of all your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed,
    or linkedin profile?

    Reply
  6. Barney

    It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information.
    I am glad that you simply shared this helpful info with
    us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  7. divorceattorneysource.beep.com

    As the admin of this web page is working, no doubt very quickly it will be well-known, due
    to its feature contents.

    Reply
  8. ambassador hotel lodz

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto
    a coworker who has been conducting a little research
    on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss
    this issue here on your web page.

    Reply
  9. www.Seovolución21.com

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before ending I am reading this
    impressive post to increase my know-how.

    Reply
  10. state farm

    This website online is mostly a walk-by way of for
    all the data you wished about this and didnཿt
    know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also youཿll definitely discover it.

    Also visit my web blog … state farm

    Reply
  11. Facials Eugene

    My family members always say that I am killing my time here at net, however I know I am getting know-how all the time by reading thes fastidious posts.

    Check out my web page: Facials Eugene

    Reply
  12. ios 8 beta 1 download

    Very nice post.I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed
    surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing too your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    Feel free to visit myy web blog ios 8 beta 1 download

    Reply
  13. Rosemarie

    In an article published in the forearm, just behind the
    study, researchers have found no benefit for both patient records
    chinese culture and accounting.

    Reply
  14. download ios 8 beta for free

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you hzve any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying forr a while but I never seem to gget there!
    Thank you

    Feel free to surf to my site – download ios 8 beta for free

    Reply
  15. Roslyn

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new
    updates.

    Reply
  16. dragon city

    What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this site on a regular basis, this website is really good and the visitors are truly sharing nice thoughts.

    Reply
  17. make it rain cheats

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will eventually
    come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

    Reply
  18. yacht charter rhodes greece

    Another is the Finch Bay Eco Resort, an award winning hotel with its own beach.
    It can be a bit boring if all the time during your vacation you
    are cooped up in the yacht no matter how luxurious it is.
    In the final analysis, decide exactly what you
    want from a vacation; you’re either happy to holiday within a
    strict itinerary and get to sample more of the product, in which case, an Hawaiin cruise is the best
    option or you simply prefer to set your own agenda and vacation without any restrictions.

    My web-site … yacht charter rhodes greece

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *