Mil Spec Mayfly Nymph

Cheech - January, 2017

"Now that was a cast," I privately assured myself as I landed my small PMD emerger about 7 feet in front of the fish that had been taunting me all day. He was the guy that was telling his fish buddies "hey watch this," and he would rise very aggressively, and then stay subsurface for 15 minutes. Little did he know, that I had a fresh dry fly itch, and it was going to get scratched that day. This went on for about 40 minutes or so, and this fish had me right where he wanted me; frustrated, searching for exactly the right bug, casting hurriedly... I had dry fly fever. Curtis will attest that I change flies more than humanly necessary, and this trip was no exception. On went a little curved shank bunny jobber, with all the right floaty parts in all the right places. This bully of a fish lost that battle on the very cast that I had reassured myself that it was a good cast... He was a brute. All of 13" and he got a stern tongue lashing from me before being released to taunt another day. This fish, however, won a battle for the rest of the fish in that river because he made me lose my focus long enough during my tirade of clipping off and tying on new patterns that I left my pack unzipped and I dropped my "mayfly" box (of about 350 flies) into the river. I didn't realize until the next week. I half-heartedly looked, but I knew that this probably just meant that I was going to have to hit the vise pretty hard to replace them. Off to the shop to pick up a box and a bunch of hooks...

I tell that story because that dumb little 13" fish spurred this whole new mayfly box that I have been working on, and I've been quite pleased with some of the patterns that are lining the rows. Not only did I want some super ninja techie flies that have all the detail, I also wanted some quick ties that I could crank out in short time. As I was deciding what to tie, I was set on figuring out a bug that was both super techie, and super easy. Long story short, my stripped peacock quills switched to flat thread and a marker, and it was kind of hard to tell the difference. I was also in the middle of cleaning and tweaking my AR-15, so I started calling this technique the "mil spec" technique for lack of a better term.

A couple of notes when tying these: DO NOT USE A CHARTPAK MARKER like I did (sorry to yell), but the chartpak ink dries a bit slower, so it can bleed into the body, making it a one toned fly. Sharpies work really well. Also, try different colors of thread like burnt orange, purple, brown, gray, etc. etc. The sky is the limit with these bugs.

~Cheech

Material List
  • Hook: TMC 2488 Nymph Hook - 18 - 25 Pack
  • Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier - Olive
  • Tail: Sparkle Emerger Yarn - Brown
  • Wing: Whiting Brahma Hen Saddle - Mottled Gray (Wildtype)
  • Thorax: Wapsi Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing - Blue Winged Olive
  • Flash: Mirage Tinsel - Opal - Small
Materials & Alternate Materials Listed Below
UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier
UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier

UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier

$1.99
Sparkle Emerger Yarn
Sparkle Emerger Yarn

Sparkle Emerger Yarn

$3.25
Mirage Tinsel - Opal
Mirage Tinsel - Opal

Mirage Tinsel - Opal

$1.65
TMC 2488 Nymph Hook
TMC 2488 Nymph Hook

TMC 2488 Nymph Hook

$28.15
Wapsi Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing
Wapsi Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing

Wapsi Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing

$2.25
Whiting Brahma Hen Saddle
Whiting Brahma Hen Saddle
Whiting Brahma Hen Saddle

Whiting Brahma Hen Saddle

$22.00