Nymphs belong in every fly box as well. Trout spend 80% of their time feeding on them and they are an important part of their diet and should be well stocked in your fly box too. Standard patterns would be hare’s ear, pheasant tails, scuds, caddis nymphs and emergers, mayfly emergers, stone flies and stone fly emergers, egg patterns, worm patterns and more. Search your streams for nymphs and try and imitate them with standard patterns. You also should have wet patterns made with swept back wings and wet hackle collars during an early hatch. You won’t be disappointed. The 5 nymphs on this page are my favorite old school go to flies. They all catch fish.
The Hares Ear and Gold Ribbed Hares has been around since 1910. It is a nymph that belongs in every fly box. It is a consistent fly that catches fish all the time. Fished dead drift or run through pockets can almost always save the day. There is a reason it remain popular after all these years. The fly can be tied weighted or unweighted or used with a small split shot. Some fly tyers have even made it with a bead head although the original old school pattern does not.
HARE’S-EAR NYMPH-GOLD RIBBED
Hook: 1X- or 2X-long nymph hook, sizes 18 to 10.
Weight: 10 wraps of wire.
Thread: Black 8/0 (70 denier).
Tail: Guard hairs from a hare’s mask.
Abdomen: Light tan hare’s-mask dubbing.
Rib: Gold flat or oval tinsel.
Thorax: Dark brown hare’s-mask dubbing.
Wing case: Mottled turkey tail or duck wing.
The March Brown Wet pictured above is a variant of the original fly developed in England 600 years ago. Tied as a nymph, emerger and an adult is something you should have in your box. I’ve fished this fly in the Spring, Summer and Fall and always had good luck with it. It is one of my favorite flies to tie and fish.
March Brown Wet (above)
Hook: 10-18 Wet Hook
Body: Brown or Hares Ear
Rib: Sm Flat Gold Tinsel
The Pheasant Tail Nymph another great nymph that resembles and nymphs found on stream bottoms. It imitates so many different nymphs you must have a selection of these in yout fly box and in different sizes from size 12 to size 20. They work and they work very well. The Pheasant Tail was invented by Frank Sawyer in Southern England in the 1950’s.
Pheasant Tail Nymph (above)
Hook: Nymph 12-18
Tail: Pheasant Fibers
Body: Pheasant Fibers/Wire Rib ( Copper)
Thorax: Peacock herl
Wingcase: Pheasant Tail Fibers pulled over.
Another favorite, the caddis pupa. This fly can be tied with a yellow body, green body, brown body and many other colors. They can also be tied with a wet collar of partridge or any other wet type hackle. This is a killer pattern you must include in your arsenal.
Caddis Pupa (above)
Hook: Curved Hook. 20-12
Body: Yellow Muskrat
Rib: Gold wire
Head: Black Beaver or Equivalent.
One of the first flies I ever tied 50 plus years ago. When the rest of the neighborhood boys were playing baseball, I was down at the creek flipping rocks, collecting bugs and fly fishing. Most every stream I have ever fished has had a large population of scuds. This simple to tir fly has been catching fish since the time I dropped one in the water at the end of my tippet. You need this fly.
Hook: Curved Scud: 14-18
Body: Olive Antron Dubbing
Rib: Copper Wire
Shell Back: Thin Strip Clear Plastic From a Bag, Wrap Copper Wire Over The Shell Back From The Back Of The Fly To The Front.