Devin Olsen is one of the leading competitive fly anglers in the world. Recently he put together this video with fly tying instructions for one of his most productive nymphs. I can attribute most of what I have learned about Euro Nymphing to Devin and he has never lead me astray. For this reason, I highly recommend this video, and if you are searching for any of the materials used on this pattern, they are all for sale on his website The Tactical Fly Fisher.
The Tungsten Torpedo- has there ever been a better name for a tungsten beaded nymph made to sink quickly and get the job done?! Kevin Compton of Performance Flies created this nymph, and it has earned a spot in many fishermen’s boxes. Rightfully so, this fly is fast to tie, and catches fish like crazy. This quick video demonstrates how Fly Tying 123’s own Derek Kohler ties this fly, and the materials he uses.
We have been fishing this fly for a few years now and it is often the top producing fly of the day. In fact, in the middle of December, just this past weekend Kohler and I fished for a couple hours on a nice rainbow trout tailwater. Once again the Tungsten Torpedo yielded the most fish and produced some very nice rainbows.
Earlier this year we were fishing a small stream that has a multitude of nice fish, including browns, cutties, and rainbows. The Torpedo was one of the top producing nymphs that day as well, as it often is. This nymph fishes well year round regardless of the season. It is particularly deadly with euro nymphing, czech nymphing, and other competitive fly fishing methods.
About a year ago we found our preferred jig hook after doing extensive research on the available types of jig hooks on the market. We came to the conclusion that the Syndicate jig hook 400 BK is superior due to it’s unique design. This hook holds fish extremely well, and has proven to be very strong. We like it so much that we offer it here on Fly Tying 123 in size 14. We also have 7/64″ tungsten beads that match this hook perfectly. We hope to expand our sizes in the near future. You can buy the hooks and beads in our shop.
At first I was intimidated to tackle a technique that was fairly new to me known as weaving flies. The final nymphs I had seen other tyers produce had amazingly intertwined bodies with a dark top and light bottom that looked fishy as can be! Derek gave it a shot early on and produced some sweet looking patterns that ended up catching decent numbers of fish on our local rivers and streams. I soon gave in and decided it was time to weave. I made the most interesting observation after only a few dozen flies, this technique is actually pretty easy and can make for some great looking bodies on flies. This particular pattern incorporates the techniques used by many others in the past, but we feel that the combination of colors, and the particular materials used make this nymph special. The Pay Czech has also been picked up by Rainy’s Flies to be sold in fly shops worldwide starting in 2016.
What all do woven nymphs imitate? Caddis larvae, cranefly larvae, aquatic worms and leaches… my guess is all of the above. They fish well on most rivers and streams that I have tried them on. They seem to have just the right amount of attractiveness mixed with the imitating appearance of the natural existing aquatic invertebrates that really drive trout crazy.
For the past few years Kohler and I have been fishing woven fly patterns on many of our favorite rivers. Defining the color combinations to maximize their effectiveness has been a fun journey. Here are the top three variations we’ve found:
Pay Czech – Tan and Pink
Hook: Dai Riki 135 Size 10-12
Bead: Bronze (or Gold)
Size 10 – 1/8 ” Tungsten
Size 12 – 7/64″ Tungsten
Thread: Uni 6/0 Tan (Body), UTC Fl. Pink 70 Denier (Hot Spot)
Note: On the rusty brown and yellow variation I choose to stay with the cotton embroidery floss for both colors. I really like the contrast provided from the yellow thread once it soaks in water. If you would like to stick with a pearlescent underbody there is a great yellow option E746.
Recently I have been having fun experimenting with the successfulness of this pattern on tough tailwaters where fly fishers are accustomed to fishing very small flies to picky fish. I’ve been pleased with the results of picking up decent numbers of quality fish in situations that I would have fished very differently in the past. The Pay Czech has gone head to head with the super effective Vladi Worm while Euro Nymphing technical tailwaters with large patterns. My guess is the pattern imitates caddis larvae and possibly cranefly larvae found in these systems.
This past fall I fished a local river that has a mix of both trout and smallmouth bass. It was fun to fish a nymph that was just as effective on the smallies as on the trout that I was actually targeting. However, keep in mind that I haven’t tested the theory of the Pay Czech on smallmouth’s more than on just a couple of outings.
If it turns out that you are looking to buy rather than how to tie flies, keep an eye on the site here. We will be selling them in 2016 (probably around May) once Rainy’s has their first batch ready to go.
*I buy all my embroidery floss from the local craft store Michaels. I’ve attached the color numbers in the recipes, and it is made by DMC. If you don’t have a craft store nearby you can find it online by searching with the color number listed above in each of the recipes.