Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, January 17, 2016

All Purpose Nymph And A Swift Update

"If fishing is like religion, then fly fishing is high church" Tom Brokaw

Sometimes the simplest things work the best. Back in the early 1970's a writer by the name of S.R. Slaymaker (he wrote for the hook and bullet press about fly fishing) wrote about a simple generic nymph that was breathtakingly simple to tie and a virtual trout magnet when fished right. The fly had no name and still doesn't as far as I know although it looks like one of Sawyers nymphs. Slaymaker used mink for the body. I once had some raw mink but it's long gone so I use Australian possum or hair mask.

Hook - Nymph or standard dry fly hook sizes 12-14

Weight - your choice wrapped around the hook shank (resist the temptation to stick a bead on it. This is fly tying, not lure making)

Tail - A few partridge fibers or a tuft of fur

Rib - ultra fine copper wire

Body - Australian possum or hare's mask dubbed loosely and then secured down with wire. Use that little carding tool that we all have but never use to pick out the dubbing.

Above is my life time supply of Australian possum dyed olive or yellow. It has that kinky texture that works great underwater. I would guess that good old American possum would work just as well. Over the years I've taken to touching up the color to suit my taste (actually the trouts taste) with Sharpies. I've tied up some nymphs with yellow fur and then hit them with a black Sharpie. Just enough yellow shows through for a nice effect.

The Swift - The stretch from the Gauge through Cady Lane has been fishing well. At 50 cfs and little snow it's been rather pleasant. The best time of the day is between 10 am and 2pm especially when the air temperatures push past 40 degrees. A drab Partridge and Olive SH ruled the day on Friday laying to rest the belief that only bright colors work in the Winter.

We turn the clocks ahead in just two months!!!!!



Curran87 said...


What is the proper way to fish this nymph?


Millers River Flyfisher said...


This is a good fly to work riffles with. Short casts 3/4 upstream holding the rod high as the fly passes you.

It never really worked well in deeper, calm water. Lack of flexible hackle to impart action may be the reason.


Gary Cranson said...


Wow what will run out 1st the copper wire from that motor or the possum? Nice ty I believe what some would call a guide fly.
Plus its nice to know someone else is increasing Newell Rubbermaids pockets, do you color flies at home or on the water?
Regards Gary

Millers River Flyfisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Millers River Flyfisher said...


That's a 30 year old tupperware container. You just can't kill those things!

I color the flies at home but now that you mentioned it.....


Parachute Adams said...

That is a great, buggy looking nymph, Ken. I appreciate you putting up what works for you on the Swift which gives me ideas on what to tie on cold winter nights with hopes of hitting unpopular spots there soon.


Bob O said...

Ken, I've been very much enjoying your blog's current presentation of various flies. Helps to beat the cold winter blues. I know they are winners. Been tying up a few. Some are reserved for spring. Other's will be in use this season. Truly appreciate the detailed photos and comments. Glad day length is already increasing. Keep up the great posts.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam and Bob O,

Thank you!!


Charlton said...

I have looked around and can not find that olive or yellow possum. Source?

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I can't remember the source. It was over 30 years ago. There is some A. possum out there with MYLAR in it. BEWARE!!!!
Rabbit or something buggy will substitute.