Friday, March 16, 2018

Fly Tying- The Trophy Nymph

Tunghead Trophy Nymph Jig Fly

This fly is not something that I originated, but like many other patterns in the tying world something that we have tweaked or customized.  The standard Trophy Nymph has been a top producer for many years.  It usually finds a consistent place on my nymph rigs for trout and steelhead.  Using a stout hook and a tungsten bead has been the mainstay of this pattern, but it has a few downsides.  

First the pattern is heavy causing it to snag easily.  Secondly I tied this fly on a heavy wire nymph hook that did not open up and free itself.  Thinking about how to make this fly fish well and limit snags I was reminded of my childhood.  When I was much younger drifting a small jig with a long spinning rod produced many fish and seldom hung up on the bottom.  From these memories the Jig Head Trophy nymph was born.  Now we have high quality jig hooks and slotted beads that provide us with many options.  

This fly can be tied in many different sizes, body colors, bead colors, and hook designs.  Right now this is exactly how I tie and fish this pattern.  The combination of the matte colored bead with the small hot spots of fluorescent colored thread is deadly.  I do tie these with gold, orange, pink and silver beads also.  You can experiment with different colored fluorescent hot spots also, but orange, chartreuse, and pink are the most productive in my opinion.  Also do not overlook using a metallic blue, yellow, orange, or silver wire.  The size shown is a 14, but I keep these in various sizes from 10 - 16.  Fish this fly under a bobber/float/indicator for a great 90 degree rig or use a high stick or Euro style approach.  If warm water species are more of your game then give this fly a shot at a feeding carp or under a popper for a killer panfish setup.  

Ryan Ratliff- March 2018

Tunghead Trophy Nymph Jig Fly Recipe:

Hook: Gamakastu J20-B #10-16- Click Here
Bead: Hanak Slotted Tungsten Bead Matte Black (or to match your specific needs)- Click Here
Thread: UTC 70 in Fluorescent colors- Click Here
Tail: Pheasant Tail Natural (or your color choice)- Click Here    Click Here
Rib: Ultra Wire- Click Here
Thorax: Peacock Ice Dub- Click Here
Collar: Hungarian Partridge- Click Here    Click Here

1. Attach a 2.5mm-3mm Hanak slotted bead onto a Gamakatsu jig hook by sliding the hook point into the small hole.  Place hook in vise as shown.

2. Start your fluorescent thread behind the bead and wrap back and onto the bend of the hook.  Advance your thread to the proper tie in point where the shank starts to bend into the gap.  Coat the thread on the bend of the hook with Loon Thin UV resin(Optional).  

3. Select the desired color pheasant tail and cut off 8-12 fibers.  Make sure to use the longer fibers from the tail.  Tie in the tips allowing 1 hook shank length for the tail.  Notice the thread is past the tail tie in point, thus creating the "hotspot" on the backside.  Leave the fiber butts facing the hook eye.  

4. Fold the pheasant tail fibers back and place two wraps over them (back to tail tie-in point) to hold them back.  Select your desired color wire and tie in at the tail, then advancing your thread to the bead.  

5. Wrap the butt ends of the pheasant tail forward to the bead.  Tie off the fibers and trim the butts.  

6. Using spaced wraps bring the wire forward to the bead.  Place two wraps of thread over the wire, add tension to your thread, pull wire tight, and wrap one more tight wrap of thread over the wire.  Trim or rotate the wire until it breaks off.  Carefully wrap over the wire nub till covered.  

7. Dub a small ball of Peacock Ice Dub leaving one hook eye length behind the bead.

8. Select a Hungarian Partridge feather and tie in by the tip.

9. Make three turns or so of the feather keeping each wrap tight to the last.  Tie off feather and trim the stem.  

10.Build up a thread hot spot behind the bead.  Whip finish and trip off your thread.  Coat the hot spot and onto the bead with Loon UV Thin resin.

11. Fish low and slow either under a float or with a Euro setup and have fun!

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