Nymph of the week – Montana

Montana 1

Where would I be without Montana? This pattern functioned as my saviour in my early days as a fly fisherman. It helped me through the great frustration and despair of not catching anything. If I remember correctly this was the fly that gave me my first trout on a fly rod. The last few years it has almost been forgotten in a corner of my nymph box. The pattern was created for the big rivers of Montana as a stonefly nymph. I have always used it as an attractor, and I tie it in many different colors, even with rubber legs at times. It works great on norwegian stillwaters, and I vary the retrieve from very slow to quick short moves. This pattern needs a lot of weight. I also tend to use a larger hackle than the original pattern. The reason is to give the fly more movement when fished in stillwaters…

Montana 2

Montana 3Chartreuse Montana with marabou tail…

Quill nymphs on a rainy day…

Quill Nymph 1Quill Nymph Natural…

Up here in Norway we still wait for the season to get going. Enormous amounts of rain has replaced snow and winter,and the temperature is still very low. I am frustrated and impatient. On the other hand the weather gives me time to tie some more flies,and that is a good thing. These are just some generic nymphs tied with stripped hackle quills. I then use a marker (Pantone) to get the color I want. I use any kind of feather for the tail and legs. Hackle quills are a material that most fly tyers have in abundance,and it creates a lifelike abdomen for nymphs…

Nymph Olive

Quill Nymph Olive

Quill Nymph 2Quill Nymph Brown…

Nymph of the week – Zug Bug

Zug Bug

I am going to fish a lot more with nymphs this season,and I really like the appearance of the Zug Bug. The pattern was invented sometime in the 1930s by a fly tyer named Cliff Zug. It was intended to imitate a caddis larvae,but I think the fish will take it for a good meal anyway. My version is not exactly true to the original…this is a very popular pattern in the US,but not here in Scandinavia. I think it will be excellent for grayling in norwegian rivers and streams.

Early/Late spring fishing…?

Terje

Yes,it is still feels like early spring here in Norway. The season is  delayed at least one month,and the ice still covers most of the lakes and tarns around my home. Everybody is eager to get started, but everything is put on hold for a little while longer. Still,we do try to go fishing. A bunch of members of my local fly fisherman club gathered along the banks of our “own” stream on thursday.

As mentioned before damsel patterns are among my best fish catchers. This is a variation I got from one of my friends. He has been quite successfull with this red eyed variant the last few seasons. He ties it in two variants,without or with rubber legs.

Damsel Red

Damsel Red Rubber

Bryn

As one can see there are  still no leaves on the trees and the grass is still not green. The water temperature is about 4 degrees…this is not a normal spring!  

Nymphs…

PrebenDrawing by Preben Torp Jacobsen from his book “Nymfefiskeri” (1972)

Every year,when preparing for a new season the same thought hits me. I should fish more nymphs. It usually stays as just a thought,even tough every fly fisherman knows that if we do,we will catch more fish. To me it just seems kind of meaningless throwing these tiny creatures into a big river,not to mention a lake. The book “Nymfefiskeri” (1972),by the danish fly fishing legend Preben Torp Jacobsen, is always a good read. Everytime I look through this book my views on nymph fishing changes a bit. I find new inspiration to both tie nymphs and think of fishing with them a lot more than before.

Yes,I know that nymphs and pupas are what the fish eat most of the time. All the underwater stages are fundamental for the existence of the fish. Normally,my stupidity lets the dry fly win. Note to self: Tie up a good collection of nymphs for this season…And,fish them!

May Nymph

May Fly Sometime…

Hares Ear

Hares Ear (Dark Olive)

Food

Just Eat…

The Mess…

The Mess,a Gary LaFontaine pattern,is probably the ugliest fly in my box. It is the kind of fly that makes a fly fisherman ashamed when tied to the tippet. The fly really is a mess,an impressionistic mayfly pattern. It is created to mimic a nymph trapped in the surface film. I have given it very few chances over the years,but I plan to give it a new and fair chance this season. Aesthetics are no issue on this one…

Tail

1. Tie in the tail,use just a few fibers. Then cut a small strip of large cell foam and tie it down.

Back

2. Dub the body in any color to suit the natural. Then tie down the foam strip. Make sure you leave enough room for the head and the hackle.

Head

3. Form the head using the same dubbing as the body.

Wing

4. Tie in a few fibers of mallard to give the impression of a wing.

The Mess

5. Next,choose a oversized hackle and make about three turns. Secure the thread and cut…The Mess is ready to go!

Damsel Nymph Tan…

KristianKristian in action…

Damsel nymphs are among my favorite patterns throughout the season. This is the tan version of Gary Borgers Marabou Damsel Nymph. The above picture is from early season fishing in a great forest lake close to my home…

Lead

1. Tie down a good amount of lead/tungsten wire. Secure it with the thread and a coat of varnish.

Tail Body

2. Then tie in the marabou (Mottlebou). Don´t mind the lenght at this point. Then wind the rest of the marabou to form the body.

Case

3. Tie in a good bunch of peacock herls. If you do it right you can use this for up to three flies, so do not throw away the excess herl.

4. Next step is either to make a dubbing loop or just dub a mix of hare´s ear and marabou to form the thorax.

Damsel

5. When you are done with the thorax it might be a good idea to brush it up before you form the wing case. Leave a short stub of the herl over the hook eye. The last thing to do is to adjust the lenght of the tail. It should be about an inch/2.5 cm long.

I can guarantee a good catch on this one…!

Pheasant Variations…

Pheasant Tail 1

This pattern do not need any introduction. Both the pattern and it´s creator are icons of fly fishing, and well known to everybody. The variations are countless, and they are probably all great fishing flies. The Pheasant Tails presented here are sort of standards in my boxes. I find it difficult to choose one in particular. These work very well in rivers and stillwater all over the globe. I do tend catch more fish in stillwater when using the variant with hare dubbing in the thorax rather than the classic pattern. The Teeny nymph is also a great fly,especially in rivers. It is one out of thousands of patterns inspired by this great old classic. Thank you,Sawyer…

Pheasant Hare

Pheasant Hare…

Pheasant Peacock

Pheasant Peacock…

Teeny

Teeny Nymph…