A Touch of Midas

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Published on: Dec. 2, 1996

Last revision: Oct. 25, 2010

a beginning fly tier you will be tempted to try your hand at creating new flies. As Schullery writes, "There are only so many ways to tie materials on a hook, and though they have not all been exhaustively explored, many thousands of reasonably intelligent fishermen before you have thought hard about them."

Someday you will find yourself weeding these creations out of your fly boxes, but that doesn't mean they weren't fun to create. New or old, fly tying is a connection to nature, and a pleasing one at that.

Hook: #12 wet fly hook

  • Thread: Black
  • Tail: Two brown goose biots
  • Rib: Gold tinsel
  • *Body: Peacock herl
  • Hackle: Dark brown saddle feather or brown hen saddle feather
  • Wing: Two white goose biots
  • Fish the Prince nymph with a strike indicator in medium or deep water, or, in swift, shallow water, use short-line nymphing technique with no strike indicator.
  • Fly is also effective in sizes 10 and 14.

Chuck Tryon demonstrates tying a Prince Nymph: Flatten the barb on the hook with a small plier and insert hook in vise. (If you are going to use a brass bead with this fly, slide it over bend of hook and push it against the eye of the hook before inserting in vise).

Attach thread to hook, then wind to rear of hook. Tie on brown goose biots one at a time for tail - biots should be slightly forked and extend beyond the hook bend about the same length as the gap in your hook. Butting the biots against a few turns of peacock herl will make it easier to position them.

Secure thread with half-hitch. Tie on gold rib and three strands of peacock herl. Wind herl forward and tie off with half-hitch about 1/8-inch behind hook eye. Wind rib forward and tie off with half-hitch.

Attach white goose biots for wings. These should flare slightly, and are easiest to attach by pinching both between thumb and forefinger while circling with three wraps of thread before pulling thread tight. Wings should extend to bend of hook.

Tie in hackle by tip and wind toward hook eye three turns. If you elect to use a hen saddle feather, strip the fibers off of one side of the feather and tie it in by the tip. Feather barbs should flow toward back of the hook, and you may need to pinch them back between your thumb and forefinger, and then put a couple of thread wraps around them to hold them in that position. Whip finish and cement.


Ask how to contact a local chapter near you:

Trout Unlimited
1500 Wilson Blvd.
Ste. 310
Arlington VA 22209
Federation of Flyfishers
PO Box 1595
Bozeman MT 59771

or contact your local Parks and Recreation Department.

Fly-Tying Video

The Conservation Department is selling a new video titled Beginning Fly Tying. This video shows you how to tie a common trout fly and adds a whole new dimension to fishing. The cost of the video is $9 plus tax and $2 shipping. Missouri residents please add 6.225 percent sales tax. Total your order and mail it to Fly-Tying Video, Missouri Department of Conservation, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0180.

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