What is Project Litterbug?

Project Litterbug

Project Litterbug popped up on our social media feeds late last year, and since, we’ve been following along as they’ve grown and become increasingly more creative. Each fly is tied with litter found while fishing or beachcombing and most have gone on to catch a few fish themselves. We caught up with the team behind the account to ask them about how it began, how you can get involved, and what the future holds for Project Litterbug!

 

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Flylords: What is the story of Project Litterbug?

Project Litterbug: The story behind Project Litterbug is a bit cliche, but regardless a basic “have a dream and pursue it” story. I grew up in Southwest Florida and moved to Southeast Georgia when I was 19. I was just getting into fly fishing and fly tying when I moved away from the Gulf Coast. Life and responsibilities overtook my hobbies and the fly fishing world fell to the wayside. However, after stumbling upon the Tailer Trash Fly Fishing podcast a couple of years ago, my interest was renewed and I picked up where I left off. I got the vise and thread back out and started tying up various patterns as well as learning new ones. Moreover, I began to wonder how I could challenge myself and give back to the community that I enjoyed so much being a part of. I was inspired by the Flybrary Project and various other concepts I found via Instagram. I thought about my passion for fishing and fly tying, as well as my strong pet peeve of litter. I loathe going to a waterway or the beach and seeing cigarette butts, soda cans, straws, plastic, etc. discarded carelessly and harming the very thing I enjoy. So I decided to combine the efforts to clean up the environment with a challenge to tie flies with litter that I pick up. And so Project Litterbug was born.

 

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Flylords: What has been your favorite Litterbug fly you’ve tied?

Project Litterbug: My favorite Litterbug fly that I have tied would probably have to be the “Straw Clouser” pattern, which is actually my logo. This was the first concept I created and the one fly I have caught several fish on. The color combinations are endless and the fly is relatively easy to tie.

 

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Flylords: What types of litter you’ve found work best for tying?

Project Litterbug: I have learned during this process that some trash is better than others for use in fly tying. Certain materials such as paper, cardboard, and styrofoam are not very practical as they deteriorate when wet or are not very castable. Foil (like chip bags), string, ribbon, hard plastics, and other similar materials are more conducive for tying. I have also learned that it is difficult to make a fly entirely out of trash and limits my options for patterns. I have found that it is more practical and fun to tie patterns while simply incorporating a few pieces of trash into the tie, such as strips of mylar ribbon in lieu of flashabou or surfboard leashes for clouser bodies. This is also a stronger metaphor for my project; a beautiful fly pattern tainted by garbage. Just like the waterways I clean up.

 

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Flylords: Have you landed fish on any of your creations?

Project Litterbug: I have not been able to fish as much as I would like and try out my little experiments, but the few times I have been able to use them I have caught several fish on them. I have caught micro tarpon on the black straw clouser and bass on the chartreuse straw clouser. I have had hits and missed a few fish on various other patterns and look forward to more success stories in the future.

 

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Flylords: What’s next for Project Litterbug?

Project Litterbug: Honestly I have no idea. I really want to see this project take off. I mean who wouldn’t? My goal is to spread the message of simply cleaning up the areas you spend outdoors, whether it is your trash or not. I don’t think we need to bring a construction dumpster and make a whole chore out of it, but simply filling a 5-gallon bucket or canvas bag of trash each time you go out makes a world of difference. I have no interest in getting rich off this idea, but it would be really neat to see my flies being used by other more prolific anglers just so the message is spread to a larger audience and people may do their part in cleaning up our environment. I would also like to travel to different locations and target fish where I have never caught before while using my Project Litterbug flies. Again, not for clout, but to simply spread this important message all over the country and the world.

To learn more about Project Litterbug, check them out on Instagram, @project_litterbug!

What is The Flybrary Project?

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