I followed @thin_air_angler on Instagram for a few years now, and I actually met Bob Reece several times at the Fly Fishing Show in Denver. Bob is a junior high science teacher and coach in Cheyenne, WY, but his avocation is fly tying, guiding and fly fishing. Bob is a signature fly designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants.
|Hook||Tiemco 2457 or Equivalent|
|Bead||Brass gold size to fit hook|
|Tail||Amber krystal flash|
|Wire||Copper ultra wire|
|Herl||Gray ostrich herl|
|Dubbing||Peacock ice dub|
One of Reece’s signature patterns is the fusion nymph, and the tying instructions appeared in an issue of Southwest Fly Fishing. I was intrigued by the look of the fly, so I scanned it, and given the Stay at Home orders from the covid19 epidemic and my status as a rehabilitating patient, I decided to give the fusion nymph a try.
I found an instructional video online featuring the creator himself, and I gathered the necessary materials. The pattern that he tied prescribed tan ostrich herl and amber ultra wire. I did not have these two materials in my possession, and the local fly shops were closed due to the coronavirus situation. I was reluctant to wait for the delivery of an online order, so I made some substitutions. Bob actually suggested some different color combinations in his instructional video.
I produced five fusion nymphs, and I must say I am very pleased with the output. The unique concept that Bob incorporated into his nymph design is the abdomen with fine copper wire wrapped over the ostrich herl. This creates a very buggy look, as the herl that pokes through the gaps in the wire creates the illusion of gill fibers. The finished flies appear to be in the pale morning dun nymph genre, but they are easier to tie than a salvation nymph or pheasant tail. I am anxious to give them a try. The flies have a lot of shine and are solidly constructed and could be a positive addition to my nymph arsenal.