Flashabaetis Nymph

A Flashy and Unweighted Mayfly Nymph

A gaggle of Flashabaetis nymphs
There was a time that I got into a sort of weird rut with my nymph patterns and ended up with the vast majority of my flies tied with beads on them. I didn't even think about it until a day when I was sight fishing to a bunch of nice high mountain cutthroats and my bead head patterns were all sinking way too fast past the noses of the fish, resulting in a very poor showing in the net. Even though I finally dug out an unweighted fly that ultimately scored me some good fish because it spent more time slowly sinking (i.e. hanging in the "zone"), I realized I'd become too bead-heavy in my tying. Lesson learned: always be sure to have a good mixture of weighted and unweighted nymph patterns in the same types of patterns in order to cover more of the water column and different fishing conditions.

 The nice thing about unweighted patterns is that they can actually be a little more multi-purpose than bead-head flies. It's tough to get a bead head to sink slower, but especially in lakes or slower moving water, you just need to add a little more time and the unweighted fly can reach your target zone and even hang there longer.  My little cutthroat excursion above was a pretty obvious example of this where the unweighted fly (same style) outscored their beaded buddies by a huge margin. I could only chalk that up to having the fly maintain a more natural descent or movement in the water and possibly remaining in the fish's view for more time.

The Flashabaetis was born out of this concept with some added flashiness to help get a little more attention in the water. It's a really fun pattern to tie and you can mix up the color schemes to imitate a lot of different mayflies, although I'm usually tying them for Pale Morning Duns (PMD's), Baetis (Blue winged olives) or Callibaetis nymphs.

Material List

Hook: Partridge Czech Nymph, #14-#18 (+) or Daiichi 1130 #14 - #18 (+)
Thread: UNI 8/0, Olive Dun (+)
Tail/Legs: Hungarian Partridge -- Full Skin (+) or Bagged Partridge Feathers (+)
Body: UNI Double Sided Mylar, Peacock/Orange, #12 (+)
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire, Brassie, Copper   (+)
Abdomen Back: Veevus Holo Tinsel, Med, Brown (+)
Thorax: Hare'e Ice Dub, Gray (+)
Wing Case: Nymph Skin, Bronze/Tan - Clear (+)
                   or Fino Skin, Brown (+)

Other Tools, materials:
Loon UV Fluorescing Clear Fly Finish (+)
Touch Dub, Dubbing Wax (+)