Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bighorn River Recipe: Wonder Nymph

Yes, it's yet another post related to the looming trip to Montana. Apologies. But you know you want it. This is a baetis nymph pattern that I picked up from a guide last year. It's a fairly common pattern and can actually be tied about fifty different ways, but I am going to post on the version I think looks the nicest.  That's not to say this is the best and most effective version. Actually the version I got from the guide was different and had a much fluffier wing case. Nonetheless, here we go.

I like to start out with a sz14-18 scud hook and feel free to choose your color of thread. Here we're doing it with olive, but these can be tied gray, black, dun, or really any color of mayfly nymph you are trying to copy. Wrap the thread back to the curve in the hook.

Next tie in some wood duck flank for the tail and a copper wire for ribbing. The flank feathers should stick out roughly half the length of the hook.

Wrap the thread up the hook to form a thread body, and rib the wire up. Looking good so far.  Sorry this pic sort of sux.

We're almost done already, and here's my favorite part. Grab a piece of hackle, I'm using grizzly, cut off the fluffy butt section, trim off the hackle tines down to the last few millimeters, and tie it on upside down and pointing out the back to form a wingcase here in a bit. 

Next dub a nice thorax, not too big and not too small (and trim the hackle end). It sort of looks like crap here but bare with me it's about to be glorious.

Finally pull the hackle wingcase over and tie it in and your done!

The wingcase can be done more like an RS2 with more of a fluffy affect, but for some reason I like this look better. I just hope the fishes agree with me. I guess I'll let you know in a month.


  1. Tim, my man I love this fly! Seriously, you're right the process looked ugly but the fly is beautiful. More tying coming up for me.

  2. Howard: the downside is you have to pull all your hackle feathers off the saddle/cape just to use a tiny portion. Or you have to save all your used hackle feathers to tie these eventually. But I agree, it looks nice.