Sulfur Nymph

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tie2fish
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Sulfur Nymph

Post by tie2fish » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:43 am

This pattern was responsible for roughly 80% of the fish I took out of the Madison River in June 2014, so it works as well as a PMD as it does as a Sulfur. I was fishing it on the point below a soft hackle dropper in a two-fly rig.
Based on the opinions of some really good fishermen friends of mine, and borne out by my own experience, one of the keys to a successful nymph pattern is a dark and slightly bulging wing case. This, in many important species, is characteristic of the nymphs right before the wing case splits to release the wings.

Hook: Light wire dry fly hook, Sizes #14 - #18
Thread: Uni 8/0, rusty brown
Tail: Lemon wood duck
Rib: Fine copper wire
Abdomen: Pheasant tail fibers as herl
Wing case: Black turkey or crow tail slips, doubled

Image

Image
Last edited by tie2fish on Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by hankaye » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:14 am

tie2fish, Howdy;

Mr. Bill, that's one good lookin' fly.
Is the Thorax material a secret (?),or do you find that any old yellow
material will function well ?

hank
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by William Anderson » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:39 am

Bill, recently I reproduced a few of these from flies you passed to me this summer. I don't mean to pester and I could figure it out with some trial but I've learned that reproducing your patterns is a study of the details. I like the longer than "natural" tails and legs. I'm sure most yellow dubbing will work fine, but as with your emergers and comparaduns, I assumed a superfine synthetic dubbing. Curious about your thread selection and hook choice. I know that's some specific detail but your flies are not as easy to copy as I thought.

This is a beaut.
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by DUBBN » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:44 am

Very well done Bill.
I will have to test yours, and others theory about the dark wing case.

I am interested why you chose a dry fly hook for your nymph. In a two fly set-up were you not allowing the nymph to drag bottom? Were you fishing it closer to the surface as an emerger?

I am not able to use fine wire hooks when I nymph from top to bottom. Inevitably I will snag a stick or rock and bend the light wire hook. I end up spending more time changing flies than fishing. The exception is the Tiemco 200 hook. It is light wire but I seem to put up with it bending none the less. No reason why but I do.

I use to tie some PT nymphs using light hares ear, or light Yellow Haretron for the thorax. For the life of me I do not know why I stopped. Your pattern reminded me of that. They are not nearly as extravagant as your pattern but they did work at times. I better put a few in the fly box.

Great pattern and great technique Bill.
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by tie2fish » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:47 am

hankaye wrote:tie2fish, Howdy;

Mr. Bill, that's one good lookin' fly.
Is the Thorax material a secret (?),or do you find that any old yellow
material will function well ?

hank
Pretty much, Hank, although I do like just a touch of orange or amber in it. William is right about the stuff on this particular fly -- it is light yellow Hareline Superfine with a little bit of sulfur orange in it.

As for hook choice, I like the light hook for a couple of reasons: the water I fish most often is relatively shallow and also because I like this pattern to ride up in the water column just prior to and during the early part of the hatch. If for some reason I need to get it down, I do (gasp) carry a box of split shot.
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by Mataura mayfly » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:01 pm

Bill, your friends and yourself are correct re: the wingcase's and the expansion/darkening. Thing to think about though, the darkening is a darkening of the natural- more that say tying a black wingcase on a normally grey thorax skinned nymph. Least thats the way it is with our locals.
This is why I like and fish the heck out of Pogo Nymphs with the foam wingcase.

By the way, very elegant looking nymph. ;)
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by DOUGSDEN » Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:00 pm

Dear Bill,
This nymph is fantastic! Your attention to detail is exceptional and your craftsmanship is just.....out of this world crazy good! I also like that it can cover quite well both nymphs from two seperate and distinct species! Incredible Bill!
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by Ruard » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:46 am

Hi Bill,

I like this pheasant tail nymph very much, did not believe there could be another variation.

Well done!!!


Greeting


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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by tjd » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:14 pm

Bill,

That's a fantastic looking Sulphur pattern. Nice details, and no surprise that it is such an effective patter, Welll done, as always, sir!

Best,

Tim
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Re: Sulfur Nymph

Post by Old Hat » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:26 pm

Beautiful fly Bill. Has the looks and features of a Skues' Nymph.
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