I love dressing flies as much as the next person. However, it is very much a means to and end for me and I would much rather be putting the creations to good use rather than amassing a huge armoury for no particular end game. Here’s a new favourite in my box, the Spanish nymph.
Most of the river flies I tie and fish with tend to be extremely simplistic. I’m sure this has something to do with my prowess (or lack of) at the vice, but also it’s about getting something that will work knocked up quickly and applied to the fish. A few components is usually all that’s needed to create something that will fool even the wiliest of trout and over fussy patterns are often just a labour of love rather than something that will unlock a secret formula.
Take the pheasant tail nymph, for example. Hardly time consuming yet has accounted for countless fish across the world over the years. It has very little movement but has all the key elements and profile that will fool a fish. To me the Perdigon or Spanish nymphs tick the same boxes. No, they don’t have lots of movement, but neither does the pheasant tail nymph. However, yet again, their profile is great; they look like a food item and best of all they are really easy to make and can be created in several different colour combinations with ease. A good selection of these Spanish nymph’s be tied in a matter of hours, enabling you to spend days on the river rather than at the vice.
Perdigon / Spanish Nymph
Hook: Partridge SUD2 or Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly in 14-18s
Thread/Body: The thread is often your body with no need to swap between the two. You may either use different shades of thread or I prefer to use Funky Nymph-It or Veevus Body Quill. They come in a range of colours and leave a fantastic effect. Thread is often used, however, to create a bright thorax segment. For this 14/0 veevus thread in flu.orange or flu.yellow/chartreuse is perfect for the Spanish nymph.
Tail: A few strands of Coq-de-Leon; 3-4 will suffice on the smaller sizes
Tungsten Bead: Oversized beads are often used, which enable you to create a very streamlined and fast sinking fly. Vary the size and colour according to the hook size chosen.
Overbody: The overbody is UV resin and is applied in two coats. The first coat is a fairly thin layer, but thick enough to cover all the body material. After curing, you then apply a permanent marker over the top of the thorax and slightly onto the top of the bead. A second coat of resin is then applied over this marker once dried and cured once more.