James Leisenring’s nymph template takes some getting used to. At least it does for me. I get the short hackle (even though I do quite well, thank you, with nymphs using long hackle). But I’m still mystified by these “very short” tails. I’m skeptical that a trout will notice an almost-not-even-there tail in a gurgling 3-knot current. Not to mention they’re a pain to tie. But never mind. Who am I to argue with greatness?
Today we have the March Brown Nymph. A handsome creature, part Pheasant Tail, part Hare’s Ear, part soft hackle. Delicious! The menu has been set. Let our diners assemble.
Leisenring’s March Brown Nymph
Hook: 13 (I’m using a 2x heavy, 1x long 12 or 14)
Silk: Orange (I’m slumming with UNI 6/0 thread)
Hackle: A short-fibered, light brown feather from the Hungarian partridge.
Tail: Three fibers from a cock pheasant tail feather tied very short.
Rib: Gold or silver wire.
Body: Three reddish fibers from a center feather of a cock pheasant tail. (As with peacock’s herl, tie in, twist with thread, and wind up body, twisting together as you go.)
Thorax: Hare’s ear fur dubbed fairly heavily.
Tying notes: Short-fibered light brown partridge hackles are hard to come by. Be prepared to do some hunting on your skin. Normally, I’d use the same pheasant tail fibers for the tail as I would for the body. But these tails are so short, I kept pulling them out when I tried to use the whole smash. So, separate sets of three for tail and body. I find Leisenring’s directive of twisting the fibers around the thread unnecessary for reinforcement purposes — the gold wire does that nicely. If he’s trying to get some extra orange in the abdomen, well, then, Jim, I’ve failed you. I think a dubbing loop makes for a buggier thorax. Two wraps of hackle are all you’ll need — or manage.