At the Bench: the Winged Nymph, a Rainbow Warrior, Et Al.

Bad photos but making some flies for @cynthark at @orvisdedham #flytying #barbless #orvis #flyfishing #jignymphs

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I am sending a Christmas gift to my friend, Cynthia Harkness, at Orvis Dedham. Some attractor-style nymphs to be used as searching patterns. It’s a little nerve-wracking, since I never before have tied flies for someone else. So, I’m taking my time.

All are on #14 competition-style jig hooks. In addition to some Sexy Walt’s Worms, a mainstay in my fly box, some over-engineered flies will be mailed to her. See the photo up top.


Upper left: three forked Coq de Leon fibers for the tail, stripped peacock quill and UV Loon Finish Thin for the body, CDC for a spiky thorax, and orange thread for the tag and collar. Peacock quills give great segmentation. My first time using it and really liked it, although goose or turkey biots do the same thing, IMO.

Upper right: marabou tail, rabbit fur body, flash for the ribbing, and CDC for some drama. This is what competition anglers call a “Winged Nymph.” I think trout see it and say, “What the hell is that?”

Lower left: Coq de Leon tail, roped Krystal flash over a layer of pink thread to form the body, black rabbit fur for a spiky thorax, and a pink thread collar. This is a Rainbow Warrior nymph, which Team USA’s Lance Egan invented, but with a larger thorax and in pink rather than red.

Lower right: Coq de Leon tail, black thread and green wire for the body, a blue collar, all of which is sealed with UV Loon Finish Thin. A good ol’ Perdigón fly, a style that is popular at competitions.


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6 thoughts on “At the Bench: the Winged Nymph, a Rainbow Warrior, Et Al.

    1. Before my Orvis discount, I bought them off eBay. If you can, get the competition-style hooks: barbless, amazingly sharp, and have a slightly upturned hook point. I don't recall the last time I had a fish drop off on a competition-style hook, particularly the jig hooks that ride hook point up and hook the fish in the upper jaw. Great stuff.

    2. ×2, eBay has some great deals on hooks. You can get competition grade barbless jig hooks for 5-7$ per hundred if you play it right.

      Awesome flies in the post btw!


  1. I use tapered tungsten "beads" for my Perdigon nymphs. They add a lot of weight in small sizes and help make the transition from body to head. CDLeon tail, hot orange thread body with gold rib and gold tapered bead and covered with UV finish is pretty good on Rainbows in my experience. Sinks like a rock too!!

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