How to Tie Quick & Easy Yarn Balls

While roe will always be the number one bait for steelhead, the Poor Man’s Glo Bug (aka “yarn tie” or “yarnie”) will hold its own in most drift fishing situations.

Really, what’s not to like? They look great underwater and have an almost translucent look to ’em. Poor Man’s Glo Bugs also hold scent very well and drift in an extremely natural way. PMGBs are super simple and easy to tie — and you can do it right on the river bank. Here’s how:

Start with several 3-4 inch strands of Glo Bug yarn:

And then, with a leader already attached to your hook (a No. 2-4 octopus style) via an egg loop (Learn to tie one HERE), take and slip the yar strands through the egg loop:

Next, cinch the knot down tightly and pull all the yarn strands straight up:

With a set of extremely sharp fly-tying scissors, cut the pulled yarn into a dome shape…again, keep everything tight!

Then, fluff and pull on the yarn ends to form a ball:

Don’t worry, your PMGB won’t look too sexy at this point, but when you drop ‘er into the water, you’ll start to get the idea…

And, hopefully, this will be the end result:

Don't forget to let those wild steelies go!

Don’t forget to let those wild steelies go!


  1. hammy3 says

    I like to tie up several “yarn flies” ahead of time (using several different color combos). Instead of using the egg loop to cinch everything together, just tie an overhand knot with fly tying thread or even dental floss. When you are on the river, simply use your roe knot to cinch the pre-tied yarn fly to the hook. Excellent artificial that can take on any scent you’d want to add (where legal).

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