This is a simple steelhead nymph that works all year long. It mimics a small hex nymph, golden stone, brown drake nymph, and just looks generally edible. The Nymph Flash Brushes from Renzetti make a quick brushy body with very little effort. They come in a few very nice colors, and are super versatile for any large nymphs commonly used for steelhead.
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Thread: Veevus 6/0 Fl. Orange (+)
Hook: Daiichi 1120 sz 8 (+)
Bead: Cyclops 1/8" Gold or Copper (+)
Tail/Shelback: Pheasant Tail Natural (+)
Rib: Copper Wire Brassie (+)
Body: Renzetti Nymph Dub Flash Brush Light Olive (+)
Throat: UV Shrimp Pink Ice Dub (+)
Legs: Pheasant Aftershaft Feather (+)
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Slide the bead on the hook, start a thread base.
Tie in the wire right behind the bead, and cover it all the way to the bend of the hook.
Pull off 6-8 pheasant tail fibers, and tie in the tail. Should be slightly shorter than the shank length.
Fold the front half back, and lash it down with a few wraps of thread. This will make the shellback look cleaner when we eventually pull it over top.
These are Renzetti Nymph Dub Flash Brushes. They are very easy to work with, and again, extremely versatile. Each brush is long enough to tie 3 nymphs of this size.
Take one, and tie it in by the tip, just in front of the tail. Then move your thread up the hook, and leave a little gap behind the bead.
Using a set of hackle pliers, give this brush 5 or 6 turns forward until you reach your thread. Tie it down and cut it off.
Now pull the pheasant tail forward, creating the shellback. Tie it down with a few good firm wraps.
Now run the wire through the dubbing, and over the shellback. Should take about 6 turns. Cut the wire and excess pheasant tail. A bodkin or dubbing brush helps to fluff out the dubbing, giving it a real buggy look.
Now put in a tiny ball of UV Shrimp Pink Ice Dub right behind the bead. This adds a nice "hot spot" on the bug, and also helps prop up the legs we are about to install.
These are Aftershaft feathers. They are found on a Pheasant Rump Patch. For each "exterior" feather, there is a corresponding Aftershaft feather underneath it. These are excellent leg and gill feathers for steelhead nymphs. Steelhead like the subtle motion of these things. Great stuff.
Take one, and tie it in by the bottom of the feather. They are quite fragile and soft, so a pair of hackle pliers makes wrapping it easier.
Wrap it about 3 times, so it ends up right behind the bead. Tie it off, whip finish, and lock it down with head cement or UV resin.
Done. Once you've got all the materials laid out, you can tie this fly in less than 2 minutes. Nice and easy, and you don't feel bad when you lose them. This is just a template. Other good color combos are Olive, Black, and Brown.