You can read my previous posts that chronicle how I was introduced to this fly. Suffice it to say, the salvation nymph has risen from a purchase at the fly shop along the Conejos River to the status of my most productive nymph in 2014. The shiny attractor nymph is typically the first nymph that I attach to my line when I approach a stream.
During 2013 I experienced some stellar days while tossing the salvation nymph in Colorado streams so I entered the year with 35 in inventory. Unfortunately this quantity did not meet my needs, and I nearly depleted my entire supply. In the last couple months of the season I began to substitute the ultra zug bug, another fly with an abundance of flash, but that is a future story. I found the salvation nymph to be particularly effective during the time periods when there were pale morning dun mayflies available to the trout. An outing on the Eagle River in early July stands out in my memory. For an hour in the early afternoon I spotted an occasional PMD mayfly in the air, but the fish ignored surface flies and aggressively chased my salvation nymph.
I spotted one fish next to a submerged boulder, and as my nymph began to lift above the visible target, it aggressively moved a foot to inhale the artificial offering. I recall similar days on the White River in September and the Frying Pan River in late June. This nymph is not just a match the hatch phenomenon, however, as it produced many fish when used as a general attractor during time periods when pale morning duns were not a factor.
Since I nearly ran out of salvation nymphs in 2014, I plan to begin 2015 with 50 brand new shiny prototypes in my fly fishing arsenal. For this reason I kicked off my production tying season by making salvation nymphs, and I’ve already completed twenty-one. I have supreme confidence in this fly. I’m also considering experimenting with some variations that will use different colors for the abdomen. A brown, amber or rust color is high on my list of experimental variations, as this color is an even closer imitation of pale morning dun and sulfur nymphs. Stay tuned for more on the evolution of the salvation nymph.