Fly Fishing Traditions

Fly Fishing Traditions Blog and Website
"It's about Life & Fly Fishing"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stillwater Nymph

Rickards Stillwater Nymph

Hook: 2x - or even 3x longTie sizes 10 through 12. He also ties and uses them in sizes 8 and 14. This version uses a Tiemco 5262.

Thread 8/0 Black for weighted. Olive for unweighted.

Wire: Tie this fly weighted and unweighted. Use black thread for the weighted versions

Tail: Sparse Marabou 1 times the shank length and sparse

Rib: Copper Wire

Body: Dubbed Seal and African Goat

Hackle: Saddle Hackle Palmered

Back: Marabou

Stillwater Nymph Notes:
It is said that the Stillwater Nymph is the most consistent pattern that Denny Rickards uses wherever he fishes.

The Stillwater Nymph primarily imitates two food items. A damselfly and a scud.

When thinking about this fly think long tail and short body.

When selecting marabou feathers for the tail don't use the stiffer portion at the top of the plume including the stem. Use the side portions that have move movement.

J. Fair. dyes and sells hackle that is well suited to tying stillwater flies.

When using this pattern to imitate scuds, when scuds are brooding out, their belly sack turn orange. So use a burnt orange saddle hackle for imitating scuds.

When imitating a damselfly tie them in weighted and unweighted versions. When damselflies are about and they are working near the surface use the unweighted version. If not probe deeper with a weighted version.

Real Seal is very hard to find. Arizona "Simi-Seal" is a very good substitute. J. Fair also sells a substitue called "Sub Seal".

It is recommended to use a short slow pull of about 3 or 4 inches at a time or a very short rapid pull. Remember it's the speed of the pull that varies not the length when using the short slow pull. Vary the speed, more than the length.

Tying Instructions:

1. Place hook in the vice and start thread wrap behind the eye of the hook. Cover the hook down from the eye to the hook bend.

2. Pick a small bunch of marabou from the side portion of the feather. You want this to be a sparse bunch. This provided more movement of the tail. Tie the tail in about the length of the shank of the hook. Tie in the tail and bind it down.

3. Once the tail is tied in pull the marabou fibers back over the tail and bind them down, tie back, with thread. These fibers will become the back of the fly.

4. Tie in the copper rib at the tie in point at the tail.

5. Select a feather that has fibers not longer then the gap of the hook. Tie in the saddle hackle by the tip. For this fly you don't want the hackle to be palmered. If you tie the hackle in palmer style the fly will have a tendency to spin.

6. Tie in a dubbing loop that is about 6 inches long. Use Olive Seal's fur for the damselfly imitation. Place the fur cross-wise into the dubbing loop. Hold the material with your hand to keep the material from spinning and then spin the dubbing loop tool while holding the material. Let go of the material and it will spin itself. Pick out the excess to create a consistent rope. You can add more material below to extend the length of the dubbing rope.

7. Once you have the correct amount of material in the rope continue spinning the dubbing loop tool. The key is to have the right amount of dubbing. If you use to much material it will tend to float the fly. Experiment until you get a sparse looking body with the fibers standing at a right angle to the shank of the hook. The dubbing loop for the stillwater nymph should be more sparse that the seal bugger.

8. Spin the loop tool a bit more and start placing wraps one in front of the other towards the eye of the hook. The seal fibers should be standing at a right angle to the hook shank. Wrap the rope forward until you just cover the lead wire and tie the rope off. Clip off the remaining rope.

9. Wrap the copper rib forward, with tight wraps. Tie off the wire at the head of the fly.

10. Once the copper rib is tyed off use a bodkin and pick the trapped seal feathers out. It is not as important to pick out the fibers as much as the seal bugger on this fly. Just pick out enough to remain buggy.

11. Wrap the hackle forward with 4 turns only. More than 4 turns will tend to float the fly. The other reason for only using 4 turns is to create segmentation. It also allows for the hackle and dubbed fibers to move and seem more alive. Tie off the hackle at the head.

12. Pull the marabou fibers from the tail forward over the eye of the hook to form the back. Rotate your vise, if you have a rotary vise, to make sure the back is positioned correctly. Tie off the marabou fibers.

13. Trim the hackle fibers that are sticking out upwards along the back. Trim the hackle fibers along the sides so that the hackle fibers are down and not out to the sides.

14. Whip finish and cement the head.

How to fish the Stillwater Nymph

1. The un-weighted version is best fished in the top two feet of the water column.

2. The Stillwater Nymph is best fished with slow pulls and pauses.

3. You can also use a steady hand twist retrieve. You can pop the fly with a pop on the downward motion of the hand twist retrieve to get a little more lively action.

4. You can also use the short quick retrieve. Short quick 1 to 2 inch strips.

5. Start with the low short pull, switch to the hand twist. finish with the short quick strip. Experiment.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.