Fly Tying · On the Vise

On My Vise: The March Brown Floating Nymph

March Brown Floating Nymph
March Brown Floating Nymph

The March Brown Floating Nymph

Hook: Firehole #633 Nymph/Wet Hook Size 12

Thread: Brown 6/0

Wing: Brown Deer body Hair

Tail: Pheasant tail fibers

Body: Possum, Fox and Ice dub Mix

Legs: Brown Partridge fibers

Spring has arrived in the Catskills, and that means the hatches are coming!

The Willowemoc

This also means that many mayflies which are in the process of emerging.. just aren’t going to make it.

Your days are numbered nymph..

They’ll either get stuck in that shuck and drown in the film, or become picked off by a hungry trout. This is why emerging flies are so effective when fished with a little movement, or even just a slight twitch in the line every so often.

The floating nymph has been around for quite a number of years, but the first time this pattern was brought to my attention was while reading “The Dettes: A Catskill Legend” by Eric Leiser.  Its an excellent book, loaded with history and trout patterns. You can read more about my review of the book “here” and be sure to stop by to see Bryn and Joe at Dette Trout Flies  to grab a copy the next time you’re in Roscoe!

The March Brown Floating Nymph: Creating the wing

Start your thread about one eye length behind the eye. Take 5 or 6 thread wraps, and then select a small clump of brown deer body hair.

Tying in your wing
Take 5 or 6 touching thread wraps about one hook eye space behind the eye, then select a clump of brown deer body hair.

Stack your deer hair to align the tips, then get ready to tie in the wing.

Place your clump of deer hair over the hook shank, and measure it so that the tips land a little past the halfway mark.
Place your clump of deer hair over the hook shank, and measure it so that the tips land a little past the halfway mark.

 

Securing the wing.
Take one or two loose wraps just to position the deer hair, and then continue taking tighter wraps to secure it down.

Once you have the wing secured you are going to need to prop it up. If you were to leave it like this, it will begin to fall down onto the hook shank. Not only will that make it harder to wrap the materials under it, it will also hinder it from floating properly.

In order to do this, you will take wraps around the base of the wing.

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Once you have the wing secured and propped, hold the waste ends that hang over the eye up, and bring the thread to the front of the eye. Take a number of wraps here, as it will push the waste ends up and keep them off of the eye itself.

With the waste ends now secured, you can snip the butt ends off at an angle.

Snip the waste ends off at an angle.
Snip the waste ends off at an angle.

 

Creating the tail:

Grab a hold of a few pheasant tail fibers and tie them in at the base of the hook shank right before it begins to bend.

Attach a few pheasant tail fibers at the base of the shank for a tail.
Attach a few pheasant tail fibers at the base of the shank for a tail.

Creating the body of your fly.

The dubbing originally used in this fly was beige brown fox fur, but I have used a mixture of possum, fox and ice dub here.

Begin dubbing your fly at the base of the shank.
Begin dubbing your fly at the base of the shank.

Here’s where that regal comes in handy! There are many flies that are tricky to tie without a rotary vise and this is surely one of them. Create your dubbing noodle, then rotate your vise upside down and get ready to create the body.

With your vise inverted, bring the dubbing noodle towards the bend then under the wing.
With your vise inverted, bring the dubbing noodle towards the bend then under the wing.

Bring that dubbing noodle under the wing, and then straight up in the air before repeating. Continue wrapping in this way, being careful not to mat down the wing; until the body is completely dubbed.

Once you have dubbed the body, return your vise to its normal position and take one or two wraps infront of the wing.
Once you have dubbed the body, return your vise to its normal position and take one or two wraps in front of the wing.
Dubbed body finished! Time for the legs.
Dubbed body finished! Time for the legs.

Adding the legs:

This is a great fly to use up some of those “not so perfect” partridge feathers. Since we are only using it for legs on this fly, I normally find myself scanning the floor or the  scrap bin for one.

Select a partridge feather.
Select a partridge feather, and either grab a few fibers and rip them from the stem or snip the tip of the feathers spine off to leave a “V” shape. Now invert your vise, and tie it in under the fly.
Tie the partridge fibers in underneath the fly, snip the excess and whip finish your fly.
Tie the partridge fibers in underneath the fly, snip the excess and whip finish your fly.

 Fly complete!

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A completed March Brown Floating Nymph

This is a great fly to fish during a hatch and you can change the coloration and size to match whats hatching in your area.

It’s good to be back to these tutorials now that we have unpacked and settled into the new home!

Happy Tying!

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3 thoughts on “On My Vise: The March Brown Floating Nymph

    1. I tried to find a direct link to it but I cant seem to find one since its not specific. I had a small patch of brown fox fur which i snipped a piece off of and used the underfur mixed with possum and ice dubbing. If you have a brown dubbing that matches whats in your area you could substitute it.

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