Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Winter Nymph: A Simple, Productive Fly

I finally got out to fish for the second time this year on Sunday, being forced to park at a restaurant and walk to the stream from there.  Managed to land my second fish of the year, too: a decent 12-14" rainbow on this simple, no-name nymph.

This is one of those great flies that is everything and nothing, endlessly customizable, that can be tied with all the bells and whistles, as I've done in this tutorial, or stripped to next to nothing when you lose your fly box on the first day of the trip, and need a few dozen flies to fish tomorrow morning.  Without further ado, the tutorial:

Simple Nymph
Hook: Any standard or slightly long nymph or dry fly hook.  Really, just about any hook.  Dai-riki 730, #16 shown
Thread: Again, any thread would work.  Black Uni 8/0 used here.
Tail: Pheasant (optional)
Rib: Silver Oval Tinsel (or wire, or mono, or not...also optional, but encouraged for durability)
Back: Pearl Mirage Tinsel (or scud back, or thin skin, etc. ...also optional, but should be used)
Weight: .025 Lead
Body: Blend of dubbing (pink spectrablend, and gray-green scintilla), in a loop
Head: Black dubbing

Place the hook in the vise.

Tie in the tail, extending about a shank-length or less, over the bend.
Tie in the rib and the back (in that order), over the tail.  Use enough material to get the job done, and remember: you can always trim excess, but you can never add more at the very end.
Wrap heavy lead wire along the shank, adding bulk and weight.
Using a blend of your preferred dubbing, dub the body using the dubbing loop technique for a full, buggy body.  In this case, I'm using pink Spectrablend and gray-green Scintilla, which gives the attraction of hot pink with the subdued, transluscent effect of the scintilla.  Experiment with your own natural and synthetic dubbings.

To begin, make a slack loop 3-4" long, and tie it off so that it wont slip.
Place a small amount of dubbing along the length of the inside of the loop.
Twist the loop until it binds the dubbing tightly into a sort of rope.
Wrap this rope around the hook to apply the dubbing.
Pull the tinsel up over the back of the fly and tie off near the eye.
Wrap the ribbing forward to provide durability and segmentation, then tie off near the eye.
Dub a head of black dubbing.  Whip finish and trim.

The options for this fly are endless...want to make a green and orange fly, with a tail of hackle fibers, red tinsel rib, and swiss straw back?  Go for it.  I tend to tie these in bright colors this time of year, dark brown, gray, and black in the early spring, all sorts of light shades in the summer, and cream in the fall.  The trout I took on Sunday ate a pink fly like the one pictured, but with gold wire ribbing, no tail, and no head.  Just lead, dubbing, back, ribbing.  Like I said, pretty much everything on it is make it your own and catch some fish!


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