Doug's March Brown Nymph

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Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby letumgo » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:00 pm

Here's another set of nymphs hot off Doug's vice.


Doug - These are top notch! I love the bushy tapered bodies. Is that a copper wire rib hidden in there? Tell us all about these flies. Pattern. Hidden secret tricks and tips. Come on, spill the beans. :D ;)
Ray (letumgo)----<°))))))><

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Re: Doug's Nymph

Postby Smuggler » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:40 pm

Those are fantastic Doug! That copper ribbing gives such a great undertone to the fly. Well done.
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Re: Doug's Nymph

Postby DOUGSDEN » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:10 pm

Good evening everyone,
Thank you Ray for posting these patterns for me! I am still "at it" so to speak with photo shrinkage (down to forum size) and with help from folks like you and Bill and others, I will see it through to the end! Thanks again fellows!

Wow! These nymphs have caused quite a stir already and thanks for the positive feedback! I have to tell you both that there is no copper wire rib as it well appears that way! Actually, that is a grand idea and I think I will start doing just that! The ribbing you see is actually Pearsalls orange silk. The entire body that you see was spun on my Clark's spinning block in the traditional way but not spun too tightly! I have been experimenting with different densities of fur applied to the silk and with various "tensions" applied through the amount of spin applied to the body as it is wound forward. For me, being consistant is the hardest part! You can really play a little tune with these bodies as you go forward with them altering their densities and hence their appearances! The rib that you see is actually the core windings of the pre-spun body. I have not soaked these patterns yet to see if there is harmony between the silk and the fir but I will soon.

The fur that I chose is some of my own trimmings and "Shanerizings" from cotton-tailed rabbit faces. The fur from the head of these bunnies is quite dark, like natural muskrat would be, yet rather spiky. The bodies come to you for the most part uncut and they look like a train wreck! But, that is the desired effect! There is also quite a lot of lead surrounding the hook shank. On these size 10's, the lead wire diameter is .020 and runs stem to stern with just enough room on each end to have small taper ramped up to meet the lead. They sink like stones and again that is my desire! I have some rather large bluegill that insist on living in deeper water and I want to be able to deliver these to them quickly! Bill has suggested a sink tip line and I am going to take him up on that very soon! Meanwhile, I am having a blast tying these and once again I am feeling a certain connection with the past when I am at the vice. The pattern is simply a March Brown spider with lead added...a March Brown Nymph! The M.B. spider has been an outstanding pattern for me near the top for many years. One day, I decided to take this great pattern further down with the addition of weight and it worked like a charm! So, there you have it! I have taken a great wet fly pattern, added weight, and turned it into a nymph! Am I going to be drummed out of the lodge for this? Please give me your thoughts, good or bad!

On some of the patterns I have been substituting the tying thread (Danvilles 6/0 orange) for the usual Pearsalls tying silk. This has been working out rather well but there is still nothing like silk for making pre-spun, Leisenring/Hidy bodies. They just look better! Experimentation is good but tradition is the trump card that takes the trick!

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Re: Doug's Nymph

Postby redietz » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:11 pm

Those rock!
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Re: Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby DUBBN » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:56 am

Doug, if you ever decide to take up Short Line/Euro/Czech nymphing, your pattern posted here would be ideal. Those spiky bodies are outstanding!

Did you get the Cottontail masks from a supplier or did you harvest them your self? I am very intrigued by them.

Great work Mr. Doug!

Re: Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby Smuggler » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:30 am

"Shanerizings" love it, haha.

You fooled me on the copper ribbing Doug, I didn't even consider the possibility of it being orange silk.
Keep up the experiments buddy, we love seeing the out comes.
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Re: Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby hankaye » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:14 am


You have a knack for putting together some beautiful, yet practical flies.
My first thought about the fur used was squirrel, they are plentiful in your area,
and there are several varieties. The peskyist of which would be the Mountain Jacks.

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Re: Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby raven4ns » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:55 am

Hi Doug,

Is that ice dub on those nymphs?
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Re: Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby William Anderson » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:09 pm

Doug, these would be killer flies in almost every water I've ever fished. Fantastic.

I owe you another email but you've asked a great question and I thought I would respond here. The question was a general one, not necessarily related to these excellent March Browns. The question was about the additional twisting of the prespun bodies as they are wrapped to form the body. Everyone here will likely have a different answer (I'd like to hear them all), but for me it's a case by case, turn by turn adjustment. I've fooled with wrapping bodies more or less tight during the pre spinning process as well as more or less density of the fibers applied, but it still requires some adjustment as the body is wrapped. For most of my flies I've found that I tend to give a couple extra turns off the body once tied in as a matter of habit. I also like to bring the first half of the body forward without additional twisting allowing more of the under body thread to show and make a less dense effect. some fibers are trapped beneath the wraps as these are brought forward which adds to a tapered construction. At about the halfway point I start to pull back on the fibers before the next wrap is made ensuring that most of the fibers are not pinned down and allowed to create a more dense flare and livelier thorax. There is manipulation throughout the entire wrapping process and not a uniform treatment. Sometimes it does help to continue to add twists to the body as you bring it forward, compensating for the turn lost with the wrap around the shank. But as I said every body requires a subtle adjustment. I hope that answers your question. No doubt there are a dozen variables involved in creating these unique bodies. It's much simpler to use many of the other dubbing techniques but for me part of the joy of tying these bodies is the satisfaction of a craft that goes beyond quick solutions.
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Re: Doug's March Brown Nymph

Postby tie2fish » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:48 am

Stellar work by both the tier and the photographer. Those are wonderful, Doug, and thank you Ray for showing them off to best advantage.
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