Mayfly Nymph

GENERIC MAYFLY NYMPH (Up side down style)

Hook:  Partridge BNX size 16

Thread: For this fly I use 2 bobbins, Both hold a white Uni thread 8/0.

Weight:  Flat lead wire.

Body: Virtual nymph skin 3mm.

Tails: brownish-yellow, Porcupine guard hair, Fibers from a paintbrush or whatever you fancy.

Wingbuds: Stalcup’s medallion sheeting or raffia.

Legs: Ostrich hearls is used for this nymph, however you could use, pheasant, turkey biot or peacock.

coloring: Prismacolor or Pro markers in various colours, For this fly I use yellow, brown and dark green.

Step 1 : Tie in the thread.

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Step 2: tie in the tails, They should be around 5mm long.

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Step 3 and 4: Take a flat lead wire and lay it on top of the hook and tie it in.

I usually never go past the hook point with the lead wire and I cut the lead wire off 1.5-2 mm before I  reach the hook eye.

When applying the thread over the lead wire try to create a tapered body, thin at the hook bend and thicker towards the hook eye. This is kind of important if you want to have a smooth and good-looking abdomen for the fly.

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Step 5 and 6: Now we will be using the second bobbin, take the other bobbin and tie it on towards the hook bend, Hang it out of your way for now and we will return to this bobbin later on.

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Step 7, 8 and 9: Take a 3 mm virtual nymph skin and cut it at an angle like the picture below. Use your first bobbin and tie the corner of nymph skin on to the hook, when the nymph skin has been secured with 2 wraps of the thread, pull on the nymph skin to stretch it out, now start to tie down towards the hook bend and back up to the hook eye, let the thread hang here at the hook eye.

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Step 10: Pull on the nymph skin to stretch it, be sure to stretch it quite a lot so you get a thin body.

Wind the skin up the abdomen and make sure that for each wrap you take, the nymph skin should be places on top of the previous wrap  with about 1/3rd creating a nice segmentation. See attached photo below for picture explaining how much of an overlapping I am talking about.

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For the first 3 wraps you should pull the skin quite a lot, after that you should release the pressure on it bit by bit for every turn you take, this will make the body fatter and create a nice segmentation towards the hook eye.

When you reach the hook eye secure the nymph skin with your tying thread that you had hanging there and make a few knots and cut the thread.

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Step 11: Now we return to the second bobbin, start winding the thread towards the hook eye, The thread might have to be wrapped in a different direction to be able to follow the segmentation, it all depends on the direction you folded the nymph skin to create the body.

Anyway make sure you wind the thread at the edge of each wrap of the nymph skin. Like this.

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Just follow the segmentation edge on your way up the abdomen. When you only have 4 wraps of the nymph skin left, stop winding the thread and let it hang there while you prepare the legs.
Step 12: take 1 herl from your ostrich and pull it straight out from stem, this will create a little foot at the end of the herl.

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Step 13: Cut away a little bit of the foot at an angle if you feel that it´s too long. Now place your herl on top of the abdomen and wind the thread over this herl and as you do that pull a bit on the bobbin to make the herl be pressed down into the segmentation edge, however be very careful to not break the thread.

Do this for each leg as you move your thread up the abdomen.

Tip: If you need to reposition the leg, just use you finger nail and press the leg up towards the hook eye gently, this will make the leg stand straight out, then grab bot the leg and the extra material that is popping out on the other site of the thread and move it to the position you want it in.

I always position these legs in a V shape, so when you look at the fly from the front  the legs should be standing up as a V.

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Step 14: make 2 knots with the thread but do not cut it.

Step 15: now detached the hook from your wise and place it like instead.

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Step 16: As we are tying this fly as an UP SIDE DOWN style we have not turned the fly on its belly, Now are at the really fun part of this guide, the coloring of the body! This can be done in various colors and styles, with dots on the body or other highlights. However I have kept it simple in this guide so use your markers and color the back of the fly, leave the belly side without color, if you really want to color the belly side then try to use a brighter color for the belly.

Step 17: User your bobbin and place the thread just behind the front legs.

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Step 18: use your medallion sheeting or raffia and cut a 2 mm thick strip like this and color the tips of each wing bud in a black color.

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Step 19: Place the wing bud on top of back of the fly and secure it with one wrap of your thread.

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Step 20: lift the material that is in front of the wrap that you just did and wind the thread up towards the hook eye.

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Then tie it in with you thread and cut of the extra material, make a knot and we are done.


With just a few different coloured marker pens you can create nymphs in all types of colours.

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Happy tying!

Fantastic Mr Trout.

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