Fly Fishers' Republic

Bunny Ribbit

June 21, 2012

by Raif Killips

Bunny Ribbit



This is a slider pattern used especially for largemouth bass. A slider is sometimes the answer to weary bass that may be spooked by popping bugs, or for fish chasing frogs subsurface.

How to fish:

Nelson’s Bunny Ribbit is fished silently, sliding along just below the water surface or swimming at depth. The subtle action is achieved with a simple pull and pause retrieve. The pattern can be fished with a floating line, but a sink tip, intermediate or full sinking line can be more effective. Equipped with a weed guard, the Ribbit works well fishing alongside weed beds and structure.


Nelson’s Bunny Ribbit, is the work of Carter Nelson, another well respected contributor to the world of warm water fly fishing and tying. Nelson tied a slider rather than popper because he observed that frogs would dive and swim deep when pursued by a predator. He used wool for the body because it holds water and helps to get the pattern down quickly. The legs of the Ribbit are held out to the sides by hard mono on which are threaded the rabbit zonker strips. This tying adaptation helps prevent fouling of the legs on the hook while also giving a realistic action when the pattern is retrieved.

Further reading:

Fly Tyer Magazine, Winter 1996


You can add lead wire under the wool for a deeper presentation.