Thursday, November 15, 2012

America's Greatest Night of Fly Tying - Two Minute Fox Squirrel Nymph

Good tying session this Wednesday.  I got to think of a shorter title however.  How about AMGNFT for short?  Does that work?  Or maybe just Fly Tying Night... 

Nymphs seemed to be the theme of the evening, 'tis the season I suppose.

Pat's Rubberlegs Nymph
You can never have to many rubberlegs your the box.

 I ended up making up a bunch of Dave Whitlock's famous fox squirrel nymphs.  This simple pattern is DEADLY almost anytime of the year and even produces well on technical tailwaters.  I had one of my best days ever on the Missouri this summer throwing this bug in a size 14.  Who says fish will only eat the latest greatest microscopic nymphs?  Never underestimate the effectiveness of the old school patterns.  This fly is straight up buggy, see it in the water are you will understand what I am talking about.  Oh, and with some practice you can tie one in two minutes. 
Fox Squirrel Nymph
Trout Candy

- Hook:  Any nymph hook you prefer, I like standard length hooks.  You can tie these guys in really any size, but I tend to fish them most in sizes 14-18.
- Bead (optional): Brass or tungsten, sized to fit the hook.
- Tail: Fox Squirrel tail guard hairs.  Fox Squirrel tails are cheap and most fly tying outlets carry them.
- Abdomen: Feather-Craft Custom Dubbing Blend for the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph.  This is much easier than blending by hand!  Get the mix at Feather-Craft.
- Rib: Small gold tinsel or small gold wire, doesn't really matter what you use.
- Thorax: Fox Squirrel tail under-hair and guard hair.    

Fox Squirrel Materials
What you will need.  Just add hook and bead.
 Poorly Written Instructions

 1. Put on your bead and wrap the hook with thread.
2. Cut off a small clump of hair from a Fox Squirrel tail and pick out the under-hair.  Do this by holding the long guard hairs in one hand and pulling on the underfur with the other.
3. Tye on the tail, keep it short and sparse.
4. Tie on your ribbing material
5. Dub the abdomen with the dubbing blend.  The skinnier the better, most nymphs are skinny, trust me on this one.
6. Rib the abdomen.  A couple of wraps will do the trick.  Tie off and cut the ribbing.
7. Take a small clumb of tail fur, guard hairs and all, and dub a small shaggy thorax.  I usually don't worry about making a dubbing loop, it works just fine when you dub it normally, just don't twist your dubbing too tight.  Brush back the guard hairs as you dub the thorax and it will be nice and shaggy like you want it.
8. Whip finish.
9. Tie some more.

You want this fly to be skinny, but also really shaggy "buggy."  To accomplish this, use your dubbing sparingly, but don't twist it super tight before you wrap it.  Have fun, this pattern catches LOTS of fish.
Fox Squirrel Nymph
Finished Product

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