The January fly of the month from PRO-Team member Paul Procter is the Eyed Fraser Nymph. To see the fly of the month for December, click here.

 

Hook: Sprite all purpose wet size 12-14

Thread: Primrose 14/0 Sheer

Rib: Pearsall’s primrose gossamer silk

Tail, Body & Thorax Cover: Hen pheasant centre tail

Thorax: Primrose/cream rabbit dubbing

Legs:  Partridge hackle fibres

Eyes: 25lb fluorocarbon melted to create a dumbbell

 

Believe it or not, January is capable of providing us with top quality nymphing action, close to the surface too. Stature wise, immature damsel fly nymphs might not amount to much when compared with their summer cousins, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in numbers and for whatever reason they appear extremely active at the turn of a New Year.

Perhaps their restlessness is due to searching out dormant weedbeds for the initial signs of spring growth, which will be evident if blessed with mild weather. In doing so they inadvertently present themselves to foraging trout that are quick to take advantage. The best part is that these tiny nymphs usually migrate close to the surface when fish seize them with a classic head and tail rise. Naturally, more sheltered bays are your best bet, as little wind ruffles the surface here, making rise forms far easier to detect and track.

We’re all familiar with the rich, olive hues of inch long damsel nymphs, yet in their infancy they appear a curious straw, almost transparent colour.  A pale looking Fraser Nymph dressed on a size 14 hook has served me well, though the inclusion of monofilament dumbbell eyes gives this pattern a new lease of life when imitating winter damsel nymphs.

In an attempt to copy that wishy-washy straw colour so evident on naturals, choose pale hen pheasant tail fibres. These coupled with a primrose coloured rib and pale yellow/primrose thorax copies tiny damsel nymphs to the letter. During the tying procedure, remember to counterwind (opposite direction) the rib, which crosses every pheasant tail fibre that not only provides protection, it creates an improved segmented effect too. Dumbbell eyes are formed by gripping a short length (1-1.5cm) of 25lb fluorocarbon in a pair of tweezers. Using a lighter, each end is then melted.  

 

Paul Procter

A resident of the Lake District, AAPGAI Master and Wild Trout Trust Vice-President Paul Procter is a dedicated fly fisher. With 30 years experience on rivers, lakes and tropical saltwater fly fishing, Paul is a leading contributor to the UK’s premier publications-Trout and Salmon and its sister magazine-Trout Fisherman.

A talented and innovative fly tyer, Paul’s flies have become recognised as a signature for his many articles. Having spent the last decade travelling extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and Southern Hemisphere, he has gained a wealth of knowledge on many of the celebrated rivers and streams with an intimate understanding of fly hatches and their imitations required to tempt fish. In turn this has allowed him to develop specialist patterns with the opportunity to field test hook models on a range of fish species and ultimately provide valuable feedback. However, having fished the far corners of the globe, his abiding love remains the light line approach on intimate Northern streams, fishing North Country spiders (soft hackled flies) and dry flies. Here the rivers offer such diversity that Paul has honed all fishing disciplines on systems like the Eden, Wharf and Ure.

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