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.
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.
ANATOMY & MATERIALS
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.
However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.