Hare Nymph

Larvae imitations are called Nymphs in fly fishing. They are very effective lures as aquatic insects (aka fi sh food) which spend most of their lives under water.

Larvae are frequently adapted to environments separate from adults. For example, some larvae such as tadpoles live almost exclusively in aquatic environments, but can live outside water as adult frogs.

By living in a distinct environment, larvae may be given shelter from predators and reduce competition for resources with the adult population. Animals in the larval stage will consume food to fuel their transition into the adult form.

A larva’s appearance is generally very different from the adult form. A larva often has unique structures and organs that do not occur in the adult form, and their diet might be considerably different.

Imitating a food source such as larvae is done with so called “nymphs”. These flies are meant to sink and resemble the items fish eat under the surface.

The parameters to consider are:

  • weight – the fly needs to sink fast enough to reach the part of the water column fish are feeding in
  • size, shape and colour to resemble the natural
  • behaviour&movement (or the lack of movement)

A lot of thoughts – but do not worry – the solution can be extremely simple. The tricky bit is to find the balance between “sink rate” and “natural behaviour”. One main concern is that you know what you have at the end of your line. As an angler, you need to “be with the fly at the end of your leader”.

That, for me, is the essence of flyfishing. Dead drift nymph fishing is maybe the toughest task. It takes a lot of imagination. It really helps to tie nymphs yourself, and the time you invest pays off. You “know” that bug at the end of the leader, it can feel like the fly “speaks” to you through the line.

The simplest way of adding weight to a fly is using a small bead. Such beads come in copper, lead or tungsten. Tungsten is the perfect material, as it has the highest density – in other words the best weight/size ratio. One can get away with a rather small bead and still add good weight to the fly.

If you want to be fancy you can add coloured beads and even those formed like real insect heads. Pretty cool, but honestly – such fancy stuff maybe catches more fishermen than fish. The prime aspect is to wiggle the nymph in front (and not above) the fish.

Hare Nymph

Here is a little step by step on a simple bead head nymph. Please modify the pattern to your liking – just do not overdress it – less is more.


Hook: Standard dry fly hook size 10 to 18

Thread: Dyneema 55

Dubbing: Hare’s ear dubbing

Ribbing: Copper wire

Weight: tungsten bead as head

Fly Tying at Skålestrømmen

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

This fly and video are part of “Fly Tying – Modern Classics for Trout and Grayling – by Thomas Züllich” Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich is a digital book available on the apple bookstore and also via the Skålestrømmen online store. You can order and download a pdf version, which you can use in conjunction with the instructional videos on YouTube. https://www.skalestrommen.no/product/fly-tying-by-thomas-zullich/

The book includes 90 minutes of video, over 100 pages of text and a many interactive graphics. The beauty is that you can read and learn about fly tying techniques at your own pace and then use the videos on your computer.

The intention is to make the fly angler understand and fabricate effective trout flies and also being able to improve and simplify the flies he’s been tying so far. The approach is to use old techniques and take them further to modern flies. While the reader can learn semi realistic nymphs and extended body flies, as well as patterns just based on one or two materials.

Staying true to his German craftsman roots, the author approaches fly tying in very efficient way. Thomas Züllich is a well respected fly tier known for his engaging and fresh approach.

The book features crisp interactive graphic content, videos and over 100 pages of informative and entertaining text. The book’s glossary explains over 100 fly fishing specific terms. To even learn more and discuss the fly patterns in the book the author maintains a facebook group. – https://www.facebook.com/groups/tzflyfishing

ALSO AVAILABLE AS IBOOK The book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1333532292

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks