Creating an artificial nymph is the easiest type of artificial fly
DARK HENDRICKSON NYMPH
HOOK:------------Nymph hook 2 or 3 Xlong (10 – 16)
TAIL:------------ Wood duck flank fibers (Sub: Mallard dyed wood duck)
WING CASE:------Slate mallard quill
LEGS:------------Wood duck flank fibers (Sub: Mallard dyed wood duck)
We have used the Dark Hendrickson fly for our tying model for 3 reasons.
1. It is an effective pattern.
2. It covers basic steps in the tying.
3. It utilizes most of the materials used in other flies in the manual.
These artificial flies are designed to be fished under the surface of the water. It is an imitation of that stage of life of a mayfly prior to its emergence. It is readily available as food to the trout prior to a hatch. In order for it to be most effective, it sometimes has to be weighted with lead wire. (Some anglers prefer to keep weight off the fly itself and simply add lead to the leader above the fly.) The weighting of the fly is especially important during high water conditions.
To weight a Dark Hendrickson Nymph, a very fine lead wire is wound onto the nook shank before the dressing of the fly begins. Now then…lets go ahead and tie a Dark Hendrickson Nymph.
Affix a nymph hook in your vise. Spiral the thread onto the shank as has been illustrated in the instructions for the Dark Hendrickson Dry Fly, only this time, terminate your windings just before the bend of the hook.
Cut half a dozen fibers from one of your mallard dyed wood duck flank feathers. Tie them in as you would a dry fly tail, but let them flare outwards just a bit. They should be almost as long as the hook shank. Clip the excess butts.
The body, or abdomen of a nymph has a gradual taper until it reaches the front third of the entire insect. From this point to the head it is called the thorax.
The thorax is wider and fuller than the abdomen.
As you have been taught during the procedures for the Dark Hendrickson Dry Fly, pluck some of the muskrat and spin it onto your thread.
Wind the thread two thirds of the hook shank toward the eye, forming a taper as you do so.
The wing case will be tied in next. However, it will not be formed until the fly is almost complete.Take one of your slate gray mallard duck quills and cut a section of fibers from the center of the feather, measuring approximately 1/8” wide. Lay it flat on top of the hook shank (shiny or underside up) with tip pointing toward the eye and the butt toward the rear.
While you are holding it in this position, tie it down with three turns of thread. Make sure that you do not crimp the quill section. It should lay flat and come form around the tie-in area.
Take a dubbing needle and lightly coat ¼” of that portion of quill nearest the body. Forget about the wing case for now.
Spinning muskrat fur onto the thread and winding it around the shank will create a thorax area. This time, however, you will need more than the normal amount. Make the thorax approximately twice the thickness of the abdomen by spinning, and winding the dubbed muskrat fur on the thread.
As you build the thorax area, force some of the fur up against the base of the wing case feather. This will give you a more pronounced hump when the wing case is pulled forward later. When you have formed a properly shaped mound of fur for the thorax, bring the operation to an end with the thread hanging about 1/16” from the eye of the hook.
The legs of the nymph are tied in next. We’ll do it the easy way. The method employed will be exactly the same used for tying in a “throat” for a streamer, salmon or wet fly. (Therefore, should you one day come across a pattern which calls for a throat, this is the way to do it.)
With the bobbin still dangling from the hook, remove the hook from the vise and re-insert it…upside down.
Snip a small section (8 – 10 fibers) from your mallard dyed wood duck flank feather (as you did for the tail), keeping the tips aligned.
With the tips pointing toward-but mot quite reaching-the point of the hook, tie them to the shank with three turns of thread. Clip the excess butts. Remove the hook and re-insert it to its normal upright position. The legs should now protrude from under the shank at about a 45 degree angle.
Now grasp the wing case feather, which has been left idling, and pull it forward over the thorax and past the eye of the hook. Allow it to slightly surround the upper sides of the thorax, in addition to covering the top.
Pull the section forward with your right thumb and forefinger and, as you hold it taut, take two turns of thread around the quill and shank (with your left hand digits), just in back of the eye of the hook. Clip the excess butts.
Wind enough additional turns of thread around the area behind the eye to cover any exposed fibers and also to complete a neatly tapered head. Whip finish and snip the thread. Apply head cement to both the windings and the outer side of the wing case.
Through there are a variety of methods of tying nymphs, some of which get more complicated than necessary (especially stone flies), the procedures you have learned in the foregoing are so fundamental and useful that you can apply them to nearly all nymph patterns listed.
One other nymph pattern you may wish to tie right away is the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph. It will be tied in exactly the same manner except that it does not have feather fibers for the legs. In this case, the legs are formed by the simple expediency of plucking out some guard hairs from under the thorax area… that’s all.
GOLD RIBBED HARE’S EAR NYMPH (10 – 16)
HOOK:-----------Nymph hook 2 or 3 Xlong
TAIL:-----------A few brown hackle fibers
BODY:-----------Fur from hare’s mask
RIB:------------Fine gold tinsel or wire
WING CASE:------Mallard quill section
THORAX:---------Fur from hare’s mask and ears (Soft and coarse mixed)
LEGS:-----------Plucked loose guard hairs under the thorax area
MUSKRAT NYMPH (Size 10-16)
HOOK:-----------Nymph hook 2or 3 Xlong
BODY:-----------Muskrat tapered to head area
HEAD:-----------A collar of peacock herl
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