Category Archives: Nymphs

Crystal Stone – 01/18/2022

Crystal Stone 01/18/2022 Photo Album

I love the look of this fly, and I created it myself. Given the millions of flies out there, there may be another similar version, but I am taking credit for this small black stonefly imitation. For the story behind how it came into existence browse my post of 03/06/2021. This brief narrative contains a materials table and step by step tying instructions, if you feel the urge to produce a few.

Left Side View

I must admit that my intentions surpassed my actions with this fly. I did knot it to my line a few times, and I believe it delivered a fish or two; however, I would like to deploy it more frequently in 2022 to better assess its effectiveness.

Necessary Materials

Since last year it was purely experimental, I only tied five. Given my optimism for its productivity assuming more usage, I generated another ten for the upcoming season. I sincerely plan to give it a solid test run this year.

Arkansas Rubber Legs – 01/16/2022

Arkansas Rubber Legs – 01/16/2022 Photo Album

I last tied the Arkansas rubber leg nymph in 2013, and you can check out the post that I made at that time by clicking on 01/17/2013. This report also describes how I became acquainted with this stonefly imitation.

In the intervening years I lost sight of the Arkansas rubber legs, until last spring, when I pulled one out of my fleece wallet and knotted it to my line on a trip to the Arkansas River on 03/09/2021. The large weighted fly with rubber legs accounted for two nice brown trout, and I made a mental note to check my supply and resurrect its presence in my fly supply.

Angled Left Side

Apparently stoneflies go through a molting process in February and March, and the trout view the light-colored and soft-bodied insects as delicacies. This explains my surprising success on my early March trip. I am not certain why I abandoned the rubber legs for such a long time.

There are numerous videos for tying Pat’s rubber legs nymphs, and any will work fine for manufacturing a bunch for your fly box. Simply substitute an orange/yellow/light green chenille and also use rubber legs with a similar olive and yellow sheen. I particularly like the tying video by Tim Flagler at tightlinevideo. In this demonstration Tim shows how to form the antennae, tail and legs by using UV resin, and I feel this really simplifies the task of making the legs and weaving the chenille through the dangling appendages.

Three New Rubber Legs With Materials

When I counted my inventory of Arkansas rubber legs, I discovered that I had nine in my possession. I sat down at my vise and produced an additional three with conehead beads plus one that is weighted with wire but does not feature a bead. It will not be long before the stoneflies on the Arkansas River molt, and hopefully my Arkansas rubber legs will allow me to fool a few.

Prince Nymph – 01/15/2022

Prince Nymph 01/15/2022 Photo Album

The prince nymph is an old classic that remains an essential offering in my collection of nymphs. The peacock body, brown goose biot tail, and white goose biot horns are proven fish attractors. For more information of the prince nymph and my tying modifications click on this link to my 11/21/2020 post.

Angled and Closer

I counted my inventory of various sizes of prince nymphs recently and determined that I needed to tie only three to boost my supply to my goal levels. Within one day I achieved my target with three size 12 weighted prince nymphs. The prince nymph is a versatile fly that imitates stoneflies, green drake nymphs and egg laying caddis. There is some overlap with the 20 incher, but I utilize the prince in smaller sizes, when I attempt to mimic green drake nymphs and egg laying female caddis.

Three Additions

I am certain that I am prepared with prince nymphs for the 2022 season.

20 Incher – 01/13/2022

20 Incher 01/13/2022 Photo Album

The 20 incher was a popular subsurface fly on my line during the 2021 season. It is a classic stonefly nymph imitation designed by a Colorado fly tyer. For additional information on the 20 incher check out my 11/24/2020 post on this blog.

Left Side

There is a lot to like about this fly. Peacock is a dependable attractor, and I like the brown goose biot tail and the silver tinsel ribbing in contrast to the iridescent peacock herl. I utilized hares mask dubbing for the thorax and topped it off with a turkey quill section for the wing case. Other than the ribbing this fly is entirely comprised of natural materials, and that is a rarity in this day and age of synthetics.

20 Incher Clump

During the past season I defaulted to the 20 incher on numerous occasions, when I felt my flies were not drifting deep enough. and the dependable nymph produced quite frequently. I augmented my supply of 20 inchers by six, and I am satisfied that I possess enough to get me through another season. Bring on the stonefly eaters in 2022.

Iron Sally – 01/09/2022

Iron Sally 01/09/2022 Photo Album

Read my post of 11/16/2020 for links to a materials table and an explanation of my introduction to this fantastic fly. I believe that the iron sally is one of the prettiest flies that I tie, but more importantly it is very effective at duping western trout.

A Fine Iron Sally

I reviewed the 11/16/2020 post before I composed this report, and this caused me to recall that I began substituting Tyvek material for turkey quill for the wing case. Guess what? I tied a new batch of six before I read that, and I reverted to turkey quill sections. The folded wing case is snugged in between wraps of thread and dubbing, so the durability of the material is not a major concern, but I hope to return to Tyvek, when I replenish my supply next winter.

Three 12’s and Three 14’s

I carry size 12’s and 14’s, and when I counted my inventory, I decided to manufacture six additional flies to increase my stock to desired levels. This fly has become a mainstay in my nymph collection, and I find it particularly effective on the Arkansas River. I would not want to be without iron sallies during 2022.

Soft Hackle Emerger – 01/08/2022

Soft Hackle Emerger 01/08/2022 Photo Album

My history with the Craven soft hackle emerger is documented via several links on my post of 12/16/2019. I discovered this pattern in a fly tying book by Charlie Craven, and it has since become a mainstay among my blue winged olive offerings. For awhile I tied them with beads to create sink, but I have recently relied on them for their original intended use as a wet fly just beneath the surface or an emerger in the surface film. For this reason I began tying them without a bead. I have quite a few beaded versions in my fly boxes should a deeper drift be required.

Nice Clarity

I counted my soft hackle emergers in size 22 and 24 and determined that five additional flies of each version were required. I produced these in a short amount of time, and I am now satisfied with my soft hackle emerger supply. The most difficult aspect of this fly is finding hen hackles for the tiny sizes. I have now tied enough of these flies, that I have improved my ability to fold a hackle. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Tiny Wet Flies

Sparkle Wing RS2 – 01/04/2022

Sparkle Wing RS2 01/04/2022 Photo Album

The sparkle wing RS2 is a close cousin of the classic RS2. Simply replace the tail with fluoro fiber strands and replace the wing with antron yarn, and you transform the classic RS2 into a flashier modern version that utilizes some synthetic materials. Read my 12/15/2019 post to obtain links to a materials table and additional information regarding the fly’s effectiveness.


As I progress through each new year of fly fishing, the sparkle wing RS2 seems to gain favor with me, and consequently it is allocated more time on my line. The natural outgrowth of this circumstance is the loss of more flies.

Materials and Flies

I counted my supply and determined that I needed to tie ten new sparkle wings to replace flies that I lost during the 2021 season. I accomplished this mission in several sessions at the fly tying vise, and I am now prepared with classic and sparkle wing RS2’s for baetis hatches in the forthcoming year.

RS2 – 01/02/2022

RS2 01/02/2022 Photo Album

Baetis hatches remain a prime attraction during the spring and fall seasons in the western areas of the United States. It would be foolhardy to approach either of these seasons without a supply of blue winged olive nymphs, emergers and dry flies in sizes ranging from 18 to 24. I personally subscribe to this recommendation, and the classic RS2 is a core offering in the game of fooling trout with BWO imitations.

Nice Angled View of a RS2

The classic RS2 was created by a Coloradan and requires minimal materials. The original did not require a bead, but I added a small silver bead to provide some sink, when I choose to fish the RS2 as a trailing nymph on a dry/dropper rig. My other modification was to substitute brown fibers from a ring neck pheasant feather as tails instead of using the guard hairs on a muskrat skin. Can you imagine how tedious it is to pluck tiny guard hairs from a patch of muskrat?

A Dozen RS2’s

For a link to a materials table and previous descriptions of my experience with the classic RS2, review my post of 12/07/2020. I depleted my classic RS2 supply more than normal in 2021, and this caused me to produce an additional dozen to bring my inventory to its target level. Hopefully these RS2’s with be gracing my line a couple months from now, as the first waves of baetis become active.

Supernova PMD – 12/27/2021

Supernova PMD 12/27/2021 Photo Album

The Supernova PMD is a fairly recent addition to my arsenal of flies. I invite you to review my post of 12/01/2020 to locate links to a materials table and additional information about my introduction to this fly.

Other Side

During 2021 it continued to produce results in situations, where I would normally deploy a pheasant tail nymph. Compared to a pheasant tail it is easier to tie, it is more durable, and it is easier to build a nice taper compared to winding pheasant tail fibers. I am sold on the supernova PMD to the extent that I plan to cease replenishing my pheasant tail nymph supply.

A Batch of Five Completed

I tied five additional supernovas to increase my inventory to ten, and when combined with my pheasant tails provides adequate quantities of dark rust colored nymphs.

Go2 Sparkle Pupa – 12/19/2021

Go2 Sparkle Pupa 12/19/2021 Photo Album

I have little in the way of new information to offer on the go2 sparkle pupa. Essential links for my history with this fly and a materials table are available on my 11/28/2020 post.

Opposite Side

This fly sees most of its time on my line during the period leading up to and during the spring brachycentrus caddis hatch. This event generally occurs during April and early May, before the rivers and streams are blown out with snow melt from the high country. The grannom caddis hatch (another name for brachycentrus) also overlaps with the spring blue winged olive emergence, and it seems that I have experienced more success with the small mayfly hatch than the caddis event in recent years.

Nice Close Up

I conducted a count of my supply and determined that I needed to tie seven new versions to bring my inventory up to my standard goal quantity before the start of the 2022 fishing season. The output looks great and should attract some hungry fish in the near future.