Essentially just an adaptation of the French Nymph my Wee Black and Red utilises the age-old trout killing colours of black and red on the excellent Partridge Patriot Wide Gape Jig Hook.
I was looking for a bit of extra flash in the tail, but a wee bit more subtle than florescent thread or floss, so I hit upon using the holographic tinsel combined with the natural appearance of the Coc de Leon. Both very robust materials which is just as well given the punishment this fly takes from both the rocks and stones on the river bed, as well as the trout themselves often show a real interest in this wee fly which I’m always amazed at given it’s not really much of an imitation of anything really.
Simple to tie and simple to fish either on a ‘Klink n Dink’ style or my more favoured upstream nymph in fast water approach you can vary appearance by simply changing the bead colour, having said that however, the original silver head seems to work best for me.
The addition of a CDC collar hackle over the natural subtle sparkle of the Olive Glister thorax adds to the general appeal giving the fly some movement as well as a nice silhouette and general nymph like overall profile.
The addition of the wide gape jig hook to the Partridge range offers a style of hook that will fish predominantly hook point up (mostly), hooks very well thanks to the wider gape (although the more standard jig hook’s not too bad in this department either) and grips fantastically with the upturned point. I think you can guess I like this hook as wee bit. Ok sizing at first seems a wee bit strange and a #14 (my go to nymph size for a lot of occasions) looks big in comparison to other hooks, however if you look at the shank length then it’s actually about right, it’s the wide gape that gives it a different perspective. Anyway if this is a little off-putting then simply drop down a size (#16 instead of #14) which is what I did initially; to be honest it’s something I very quickly got used to.
Even if fished in bigger sizes the fish still like this simple wee nymph and recently I’ve even found myself with two in different sizes on a three fly set up with the fish about as equally responsive to both. I suppose it’s simply the old adage, when it’s on it’s on, easiest thing to do is to give it a swim and find out.
Hook: Partridge Patriot Wide Gape Jig 12 – 18
Bead: Silver Tungsten Bead 2.0mm – 3.5mm depending on hook size and water depth. (Note I’m not overly fussy on slotted or not when I tie these and find often the countersunk type sits just as well on the hook with the added advantage of being that tiny bit heavier)
Thread: Black Uni 8/0
Butt: Red Medium Holographic Tinsel
Tail: Coc de Leon
Body: Tying thread
Rib: Fine Silver Wire
Thorax: Pinch of Olive Glister
Collar Hackle: Cul de Canard hackle
Step 1: Set silver tungsten bead onto hook, set hook in vice and run bed of thread to secure bead and form tapered underbody
Step 2: Catch in Red Medium Holographic tinsel at butt.
Step 3: Form butt with tinsel and catch in Coc de Leon tail.
Step 4: tidy ends of tinsel and CdL then catch in fine silver wire rib, run thread to rear of bead.
Step 5: Run silver wire rib in open even turns.
Step 6: Catch in single CDC feather and a pinch of Olive Glister at thorax.
Step 7: Dub thorax and wind on CDC to form collar hackle.
Step 8. Varnish thread and whip finish behind bead.