Here´s a little video on how to tie a simple mayfly nymph. The pattern is rather “generic”. Feel free to alter colours etc. ad lib.
CZ grub style or straight nymph hook – I prefer hooks with “big” eyes, as mine are getting bad. Hook size 20 to 12 approximately.
Dyneema thread. I strongly advise this type of thread as anything else may be to weak and break easily. I avoid using glue. I hate the smell, and I believe the fish hate the smelle too. I try to solve all problems “mechanically”, like fixing the bead head for example. This requires a heavy handed tying.
A feather for the tail. Grey mallard works well as many other game bird feathers.
“Flexibody” by Virtual Nymph products. In preparation you need to cut a 2 to 3mm wide strip off the card.
A bead-head. I used the fancy ones by Flymen Fishing Company called NympHead. The eyes look cute on them.
Dubbing – I recently acquired a kit of dubbing from Jan Siman (Czechia) He has very interesting stuff for nymphs.
As for weight – I like the weight of this version. Should I need to fish deeper than the fly sinks I rather use a lead split-shot on the leader.
Winter has arrived. It started snowing. For me that is a clear sign to get going with fly tying. That´s my way to adjust to the cold & dark season. sure, winter has it´s good sides and days, but just the transition is very hard as I feel I have not have had enough time to flyfish, even though I did it all summer. Still, it was not enough.
Anyway – my way out of my winter depression is to rethink all my flyboxes. Part 1 one is new small box I plan to fill with small nymphs in sizes 18 to 12. It´ll be a total of 96 flies in that tiny thing. One side with mayfly nymphs, the other with caddis & freshwater shrimp. The hooks I´m using are mostly Partridge CZ barbless. They are very strong and have a large eye, which I like.
Weighting is done with Flymen tungsten nympheads and I will be using quite a bit of the Virtual Nymph Flexibody I was given by Dale, the owner of VN. Brilliant stuff. Dubbing is “peacock” dubbing I got from Jan Siman. For some flies I use seals fur as well.
I´m going for scruffy as well as clean. However, the pic´s make the flies appear more scruffy than they are.
Mike Townend, the man – the legend. I met Mike for the first time at the German Fly Fishing Festival in 2014.
It was great event organised by Bernd Ziesche and his friends.Mike, should you not have heard of him already is an amazing salmon fly tier. Should you meet him (or have met him) you´ll find out that he is witty, very open minded and kind person with a very Scottish humor.
Mike is known for the sculptures he ties. Yes, you read correctly – sculptures.
Mike takes attaching feather to a hook to a whole new level. I had never seen any thing like it before.
I asked Mike to tell me a bit about himself and this is what he answered. Short and concise in his own words.
I was was born in RAF nocton hall and raised in Aberdeen. Started fishing at the age of 5, because i am a 3rd generation fisherman. Grandfather was a champion course fisherman, father was a big game sea fisherman.
I started on the trout fish. I started tying flies at the age of 12, i was intrigued by trout flies and back in the day we used to have fantastic evening rises, when you couldnt fail or so I thought.
With a number of years trying and fishing for trout i took up salmon fishing. I met a good friend Phil Glendinning who introduced me to classic salmon flies and a load of yankee style classics. It was a further 2 year before i met one of the last of the great tyers in britain.
He introduced me to many old ways and techniques. Some of the stuff I am going to show you are from him. I have worked as a joiner all my life.
My favorite type of music is varied but my favorite band is pink floyd and my favorite food is anything I can eat haha. I hope you enjoy the flies I have puten together for you.
Don´t hesitate to comment on the articles. Will try to answer as best I can.