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Black Nymph – an oldie, but goldie

This simple fly makes a great all-rounder, imitating everything that the river or stillwater fisher might encounter


The Black Nymph – make space for it in the box.
The Black Nymph – make space for it in the box.
Step 1. Run thread down shank and tie in tail.
Step 1. Run thread down shank and tie in tail.
Step 2. Trim off waste from tail.
Step 2. Trim off waste from tail.
Step 3. Tie in tinsel and wire rib.
Step 3. Tie in tinsel and wire rib.
Step 4. Dub body and run tinsel then wire rib up.
Step 4. Dub body and run tinsel then wire rib up.
Step 5. Take a small bunch of pheasant tail fibres.
Step 5. Take a small bunch of pheasant tail fibres.
Step 6. Tie in as a thorax cover.
Step 6. Tie in as a thorax cover.
Step 7. Apply dubbing to form the thorax dubbing 'rope'.
Step 7. Apply dubbing to form the thorax dubbing 'rope'.
Step 8. Dub thorax.
Step 8. Dub thorax.
Step 9. Pull over thorax cover and tie down.
Step 9. Pull over thorax cover and tie down.
Step 10. Trim off waste from thorax cover.
Step 10. Trim off waste from thorax cover.
Step 11. Brush out thorax dubbing to form 'legs'.
Step 11. Brush out thorax dubbing to form 'legs'.
Step 12. Varnish head to finish.
Step 12. Varnish head to finish.

For me this one’s an ‘oldie’ but still a ‘goldie’ as this wee nymph has stood me in good stead for more seasons than I can remember, and goes way back to the earliest of my tying days

It was originally tied as a general-purpose river pattern for ‘across and down’ work or for just sub-surface ‘dead drift’ upstream below a Spider pattern. However, when used as a tail fly behind a couple of more traditional bob flies and ‘short lined’ loch-style from both boat or bank the Black Nymph has really stood out. Effective throughout the season, either as a tail fly it’s also pretty useful in the ‘bob' (top dropper) position, above either one or a couple of lures and fished at depth.

In smaller sizes it’s not too bad as a small Buzzer pattern, and bigger it can be taken for a dark olive or possibly a small shrimp. Go bigger again, and it could possibly even be a caddis or small fish. Whatever the attraction, the fish like it and it's something that’s well worth the space in the fly box. I know I couldn’t go through a season without a few of these simple but effective wee beasties to call on.

Add olive Glister to the thorax to help give added sparkle and if you need a little weight try simply adding a silver tungsten bead to the thorax area or head of the fly.

It's also very effective tied with all below materials but altering the dubbing colour to light or medium olive and – Hey Presto! – you’ve then got my old ‘Wee Olive Nymph.’


Dressing
Hook: Partridge Wet Fly Supreme (G3A/L) or Sproat Wet (G3AY) Size 10 to 18.
Thread: Semperfli 8/0 black waxed thread.
Tail: Natural brown partridge fibres.
Rib: Medium pearl Mirage tinsel (Veniard) below fine 0.1mm silver wire (Semperfli).
Body: Black rabbit fur.
Thorax cover: Pheasant tail fibres.
Thorax: Black rabbit.
Varnish: Standard ‘Cellire’ (Veniard).

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