Blowtorch Nymph

At first sight, this thing looks ridiculous in the world of standard patterns.  It’s bright, doesn’t look much like anything in nature, and has enough colors to grab anyone’s attention.  I assure you, though, it’s effective and I’ve caught a lot of decent fish in highly technical water under tough conditions.  I think it can be an imitation of both an insect and a small minnow with an “attractor” component.  I’ve both dead-drifted and swung this fly with great success.  And because I do swing this fly, I use a lead bead as opposed to a tungsten bead.  If I’m going to want to get this fly down as quickly as I can when fishing fast or deep water, I’ll use a tungsten bead.  The choice is yours depending on your style.



Slide the copper bead small-hole-first onto the hook and then secure your hook in the vice.  Then take .015″ wire and make three wraps before sliding it into the bead pinching it between the eye of the hook.  Then start your thread just behind the lead wraps.  Helicopter the excess wire off.



Make thread wraps to the half-way point between the bend of the hook and the eye.  Cut a length of floss and then fold it over twice which will conclude with four strands of floss.  This will give you a nice, full tag at the end of the fly.  Tie the floss in while making thread wraps to just before the bend of the hook.

Wrap forward to the half-way point, once again, and repeat this step with a single strand of small pearl tinsel.  End at the bend of the hook.



Form a medium-sized dubbing noodle with dubbing and wrap the entire length of the hook shank.  I prefer a uniformed body but a carrot-like taper may be more appealing to some.  Take the tinsel and make four evenly spaced counter-wraps to just behind the bead and capture it.



Select a partridge feather and strip the fibers until you find fibers that extend just behind the length of the hook.  Using the fibers closest to the bottom of the quill, pull back a dozen fibers on both sides as seen in the second photo above.  You will then tie the feather in by the tips just behind the bead.


The use of saddle hackle pliers greatly helps when wrapping this soft hackle.  Make one turn of saddle hackle and capture the stem using two or three turns of thread.  Try to snip the stem off close and cover it with thread as best as possible.  There is some leeway here as you will use thread to build a collar hotspot.




Build up a nice collar behind the bead and whip finish.  Snip your tying thread off close and then trim the floss forming a tag at the back of the fly.  The length of the tag is really personal preference but remember, this is just a trigger and doesn’t really provide much movement in the water.



Thread: UTC 70 denier

Floss: UNI-Floss 2 ply

Wire: Lead Free .015″

Tinsel: UTC Small, flat pearl

Hook: Orvis 1524 (1x strong – 2x long) Sizes 14 and 16

Bead: Copper colored lead size 7/64″

Dubbing: Ice Dub Peacock Black

Soft Hackle: Partridge


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