Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Moderators: letumgo, William Anderson

Posts: 1601
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:57 pm
Location: Sardis, Ohio

Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by DOUGSDEN » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:03 pm

Good Evening Fellow Nymphers,
This weeks interesting nymph pattern is brought to you by our hero Walt Dette and the recipe comes straight out of Eric Leisers' fantastic book, "The Dettes - A Catskill Legend". Of course, I have made a few changes to the original due to materials limitations (I tried my best to duplicate the shade and texture of the dubbing for the abdomen) and such! This nymph pattern is awesome even as a general attractor pattern and has fooled some dandy bluegills in our local ponds, down deep! Here we go!

Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph (Side-view):

Here is a top down view of the fly pattern:

Here is a bottom-up view of the underside of the fly pattern:

Hook: Tmc 5263 3x long round bend nymph hook in sizes 10-16.
Thread: Danvilles 6/0 maroon(?) color. I am uncertain what Danvilles calls it....possibly Dark Sherry? It is a nice compliment to the color of the abdomen coming up shortly! Black can also be used without upsetting the apple cart!
Weight: .020 diameter on hook sizes 10 & 12. .015 diameter on hook sizes 14 & 16. The lead weighting is wound on right next to the tie in point of the tail fibers and carried almost to the eye of the hook and then back again about 4-5 turns to form a really pronounced thorax and some really heavy weight to carry this pattern to the bottom!
Tail: Three barbs from a cock pheasants tail! Take advantage of the natural curve of the barbs and tie them on sweeping gracefully upwards! Not too long!
Abdomen: Very dark maroon (or dark sherry) fur. I have settled in on Hareline Dubbin brand #47 Hendrickson Nymph. For those inclined (and I did try it but couldn't produce the shade that I wanted), see the dubbing recipe in Eric's book and mix it yourself! It's a blast!
Gills over abdomen: Dark brown ostrich herl reinforced with black tying thread and counterwound to the thorax!
Wingcase: Dark gray goose fibers from a wing feather of the same! Please let experience be your guide in making a realistic wing case! I like it to be triangle shaped! Try and keep the darker side of the fibers up! It looks better!
Thorax: Any dark gray, soft textured fur preferably with antron in the mix! The thorax should be a bit plump to accentuate the lead thorax already in place (lead wire)! We all know what antron does when mixed with just about any fur....shazaam!
Beard: Darkest Hungarian Partridge feather, no more than three turns, tied in by the tip, folded and secured with thread and then pulled downward under the thorax! Fibers not too long perhaps just brushing the hook point!

The final pattern may not look anything at all like the mature Iso Nymph but is a real killer pattern for me and I hope it is for you as well! I wish I would have payed more attention to the nymphs in the Willowemoc at Roscoe Rendezvous #1!

Enjoy and let me know what you think! And, if you have any questions, please ask!

Fish when you can, not when you should! Anything short of this is just a disaster.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 9540
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: Buffalo, New York

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by letumgo » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:20 pm


Are you a member of the Sparse Gray Matter website? You may want to share this fly over there too. I'm sure Joe Fox would love to see your interpretation of Walt Dette's Iso Nymph.

Exemplary fly tying, by the way. The proportions on this fly are so beautiful. I love the carrot like taper to the body, and how the herl gills add extra life to the pattern.
Ray (letumgo)----<°))))))><
http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php? ... er=letumgo

"Casting a fly rod in these tight quarters takes patience (swearing quietly to ones self helps too)."
User avatar
William Anderson
Site Admin
Posts: 4486
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:14 pm
Location: Ashburn, VA 20148

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by William Anderson » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:13 am

Doug, I've tried to tie these but I've never come close to capturing the skill you've applied to these. This really looks like it could have come straight out of the Dette shop. Just a beautifully executed pattern. Thank you for sharing such a classic.
"A man should not try to eliminate his complexes, but rather come into accord with them. They are ultimately what directs his conduct in the world." Sigmund Freud.
User avatar
Posts: 4766
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Harford County, MD

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by tie2fish » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:29 am

One of your very best, Doug, and that's saying a lot. It's all great tying, but the abdomen is exceptional.
In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.
User avatar
Tom Smithwick
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:11 pm
Location: Shippensburg, PA

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by Tom Smithwick » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:26 am

To what has been said, I can only add that during an actual emergence, the fish will be chasing the nymphs into the shallows where they crawl onto rocks and hatch into duns. At that point, it's useful to have an unweighted fly and fish it just under the film like a streamer, twitching it across the stream. Don't use a light tippet...
Great fly, the shape is just right, and the moving gills are prominent on the naturals when they swim.
User avatar
Posts: 5801
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:59 pm
Location: Arrey, N.M. aka 32°52'37.63"N, 107°18'54.18"W

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by hankaye » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:53 am


WOW! :o , :shock: Doug, ... that has to be one of the best flies I've seen tyed on this or any other
site. Period.

Striving for a less complicated life since 1949...
User avatar
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:55 pm
Location: Livonia Michigan

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by SenecaLaker » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:50 am

Doug, thanks for sharing your work on that bug. I found myself needing a larger screen while scrolling back and forth from the recipe to the photos. Again, wonderful rendition and thanks for the inspiration.
User avatar
Old Hat
Posts: 3360
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:24 am
Location: Where Deet is a Cologne

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by Old Hat » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:02 am

Wonderful pattern Doug! Well constructed as to be expected.
I hate it when I think I'm buying organic vegetables, and when I get home I discover they are just regular donuts.
Posts: 1654
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:11 am

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by daringduffer » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:37 pm

Marvellous play (or work - choose what you prefer).

User avatar
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:09 am
Location: Oregon

Re: Walt Dette's Isonychia Nymph

Post by Roadkill » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:16 pm

Great looking tie!
Post Reply