In this nymph selection my aim is to provide a variety of weight and pattern to cover a wide variety of situations. I wanted to include nymphs that vary from dark to light, some that incorporate “hot” materials or threads, some with white antron (which I think is a good “trigger”).
The 4 nymphs included, 2 of each pattern, cover that range.
The heaviest Coulee Killer nymph (3.5mm tungsten bead), is tied with a hot pink collar in the tradition of the Pink Squirrel of Wisconsin. It has a body of yarn in the style of a killer bug. It is tied on a Size 10 Fulling Mill Heavy Weight Champ hook.
The Midnight Rambler and The Hot Spot Pheasant Tail are both tied on Fulling Mill size 12 jig style hooks. These two flies are in the middle of the weight range with 2.8 mm tungsten beads. Pheasant tail is just a classic fly body material – and a fluorescent hot spot can add that little extra bit of color to grab the fishes attention. The Midnight Rambler is tied with a holographic tinsel body and fur and flash thorax. I always like to have a dark fly pattern with me and the Midnight Rambler fills that niche – but also has some nice buggy flash.
The Bead head Pheasant tail is the smallest and lightest of the bunch. It is tied on a size 14 Fulling Mill Czech nymph hook with a 2.5 mm tungsten bead. This particular pheasant tail pattern features a collar of peacock herl and a tuft of white antron. If I was forced to choose just one nymph to fish with – this would be the one.
Not everybody likes to nymph with a tenkara rod – but I admit to it.
When I’m fishing mountain streams – streams with eager trout and low fertility (lower aquatic insect populations lead to more eager opportunistic trout) I rarely resort to bead head nymphs. Generally I don’t find them necessary in those conditions – or rather I have quite enough fun and success with traditional tenkara kebari or western style wet flies (or even dry flies). Sometimes for that particularly deep hole though … I’ll often give the shallow fished flies a shot and then – if I’m feeling up to it I may put on a bead head fly to get down in the depths.
As opposed to the mountain streams – I more often find myself using nymphs on fertile spring creeks. Though, make no mistake, kebari and wet flies can very often be killer in those richer streams too – especially at times of hatching bug activity in spring, summer and fall.
But sometimes, those kebari and wet flies don’t get to done for me. Maybe it’s high water conditions, or cold winter conditions, or for reasons that I can’t figure out – but sometimes the fish just don’t seem to want to move to a more shallow fished kebari or wet fly. That’s when I turn to the nymphs.
Tungsten beads are a great way to add weight – heavier than brass beads and not toxic like lead wire.