Posts Tagged ‘fly tying tips’

Pliva Perdigon Nymph – Guest Tyer Devin Olsen

Devin Olsen of Fly Fishing Team USA shares with us one of his most deadly flies, a perdigon nymph he discovered while competing in Europe.


Hook: Hanak 230 sizes 16-12 or other nymph hook
Bead: Copper, silver, or gold slotted tungsten 2.3 to 3.3 mm
Additional Weight: 0.015” lead wire
Tail: Coq de leon
Body and thread: Olive Veevus body quill
Rib: Chartreuse Veevus 140D power thread
Hot spot: Veevus Fl. Orange 16/0
Wingcase: Black Nail Polish
UV Resin: Loon UV fly finish thin
Varnish: Hard as Hull

All materials required for this fly are available HERE for an additional 10% off when all bundled together.

A Little About Devin Olsen

Devin Olsen Steelhead

March 20, 2009 was the first time I ever fished with Devin. Looking back on the occasion it’s almost comical how much I didn’t understand about fly fishing. I knew that I loved it, but as to the many details that help you catch fish, I was more than lacking. I kept a fishing journal back then, and fortunately I made an entry from our first outing together. Here are a few excerpts:

“Today I fished with Devin Olsen. He is my friend from college that is on Fly Fishing Team USA. I have never seen anyone catch fish like he did! He was very efficient and systematic. I listened to his advice today and caught more fish than I ever have in a single day. Devin was very nice and patient, and I learned more today than I would have in an entire year by myself.”

I quit keeping that fishing journal shortly after that first trip out, but if I had an entry for every time Devin and I have fished together it would show how greatly he has influenced my fly fishing path.

Devin Olsen Brown Trout

Devin Olsen Cutthroat Trout

Euro Nymphing

As a member of Team USA Devin has the need to constantly learn new techniques and fine tune others in order to stay ahead of the competition. Regarding Euro Nymphing, which is one of the deadly techniques he uses on rivers and streams, he is a master. I was surprised at how openly he shares the details of this technique, and others, on his blog Tactical Fly Fisher. I’m confident his fellow competitors are reading and studying the info he provides to become better fly fishers as well. Once you get to know Devin it’s apparent that he is in favor of everyone becoming a better angler. I highly recommend all our readers check out his blog for detailed information that will help us all catch more fish.

Tactical Fly Fisher

Tactical Fly Fisher Online Fly Shop

As previously mentioned Devin is currently sharing extremely valuable information on the sport of fly fishing through his blog. If you ever get the chance to see Devin in action you will know that the name Tactical Fly Fisher applies to his approach more than possibly anyone else on the water. He has taken the same direction with his blog and online fly shop. For example, you can buy all the materials needed to tie the flies he demonstrates (including the Pliva Perdigon Nymph) on his blog through his online fly shop. They are often hard to find materials, and Devin has put forth a lot of time and energy to track them all down and offer them to those desiring to tie the deadly patterns he is so kind to share with the online world. He also sells other tools and materials specific to Euro Nymphing that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Check out the Tactical Fly Fisher you will be happy you did.

Devin Olsen Fly Fishing Team USA

Thanks again Devin for sharing this awesome nymph pattern with us!

Insect vs. Imitation

Baetis Nymph (Insect) and size 20 Iron Lotus Variation (Imitation)





















All too often I find myself making the same mistake over and over again. I, like most, have a handful of reliable patterns that I am very confident in. I use them on most rivers, and more times than not they produce fish like a factory. However, on rivers that are heavily fished it is very important to fish flies that imitate the insects being selected for that day. Realistic patterns that are drab in color often do the best for me in tough situations when fish are being extra picky. I try to tie up, and carry a variety of realistic patterns that can be used in these situations. The available food for trout can change daily, or even hourly. Depending on the weather, time of year, and a thousand other variables, different insects become active at varying times. Stomach pumps and hand seines come in real handy when trying to figure out what the fish are preferring that day. Match things up right and you can expect your success to increase almost immediately.

Common River Routine:

Arrive and fish my confidence patterns. If they are working, great why change a good thing? Fish them until they stop producing.

If fishing is tough, take a seine sample of the river’s insects. Match your imitations to the real insects found. Then, fish hard until the first fish is caught.

Pump the stomach of the first fish and change fly patterns accordingly. Give those flies a valid effort before giving up on them.

Fish until success slows down, then pump another fish’s stomach. Change flies if the preferred food type has changes.

Note: Not every fish needs its stomach pumped. Only steal breakfast from one fish, lunch from another, and dinner from a third. If you can’t figure out how to catch fish by then, go home and build up some brownie points with the wife so you can go back and try again tomorrow.

There are many factors besides having the right fly that determine how many fish you catch. This is simple one more piece to the puzzle! Good luck, and tight lines!


Find us on YouTube
Find us on Facebook