A Little Nymph Fly Secret

by Fly Fisherman

Every fly tier and manufacturer of nymph flies, like the blind Arabs feeling the elephant and guessing what it is, seem to see the little fellow in many different ways. Every tier believes his formula to be superior and he wonders how it is, how it can be, that the other fly tier’s interpretation seems to work equally well. There again we are trying to see the nymph as we think the trout sees it. Many years ago a fly tier and writer, by the name of Louis Rhead, attempted to influence fly fishermen to the theory of exact imitation or exact reproduction of the natural fly just as closely as skill and materials would permit.

The theory displayed feet of clay in that we didn’t include the fish’s viewpoint, which as it turned out, the impressionistic patterns secured better results. We see little of the Rhead theory in modern fly tying. Over a period of time, and of hundreds of fly tiers making minute changes, which are accepted after trial, the flies simulating the various naturals have evolved into comparatively definite standard details. The nymph fly, like the various methods of fishing it, is now going through the stages of trial and error. Later on they, too, will evolve into a semblance of accepted, proven patterns, or models.

The next suggestion is a closely held secret of a number of successful anglers who, in their experimenting practices, discovered it. Rarely does it fail. When nymphs are known to be working, at the onset of an emergence “hatch” and during the hatch, pick a matching nymph fly from your fly box and treat it with your dry fly oil or floatant. Fish it as you would a dry fly. It might be well to have a modest assortment of nymphs tied on fine dry fly hooks for just this purpose. If the presentation is carried out with care and precision become alert to the surges of taking trout. If the presentation is incorrectly handled, however, you must accept the fact that exercise only, and just being outdoors, too, is beneficial.

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