The Finished Rainbow Nymph

Attractor Flies: Tying the Rainbow Nymph

Some time ago, when I shared posted a photo of the Rainbow Nymph on my Facebook page somebody asked, “What bug does that match?” The answer, of course, was none.

The Finished Rainbow Nymph
The Rainbow Nymph.

While it's true that matching the hatch or matching underwater insects is an important factor when we fly fish, there may be days when there may not be any apparent hatches or days when, no matter what imitation you toss, the trout just seem uninterested. Those are the days when you may need to dig into your fly box and tie on an attractor pattern.

Attractor patterns do not represent any particular insect. When Lee Wulff was asked what his fly, the famous Royal Wulff, represented he stated that it did not look like anything in particular but that nonetheless the fish ate it. Such is the case of many other well known attractor patterns, such as the copper john, hare's ear nymph, and humpies.

I like to fish this pattern as dropper to either a dry fly or another nymph. I have listed specific colors of the dubbing and thread for this pattern. However, feel free to use a variety of other colors.

The Recipe

HOOK: TMC 2487 (curved caddis hooks)
THREAD: 8/0 orange
RIBBING: Larva Lace Midge Lace Clear
BEAD: Brass Rainbow Beads
DUBBING: Prism Dubbing and / or Ice Dubbing in colors of: Caddis Green, Electric Blue and UV Red

Prepare your materials.

Rainbow Nymph Materials
Rainbow Nymph Larva Lace

Step 1: Place bead on hook, making sure smaller hole faces the hook eye.

Rainbow Nymph 1

Step 2: Thread the hook evenly toward back of hook.

Rainbow Nymph 2

Step 3: Tie in 1 inch length of Larva Lace.

Rainbow Nymph 3

Step 4: Mix a pinch of each dubbing in a pile. This will be the dubbing for the body. It is best to do this by hand instead of a grinder as you want each specific colors to show through the mix. In other words, a rough mix is perfect.

Rainbow Nymph Dubbing Mix
Rainbow Nymph 4

Step 5: Dub the body with your mixture.

Rainbow Nymph 5

Step 6: Rib the body with the Larva Lace. It's fine to leave a few gaps between ribbing to allow some of the dubbing to peak through. Tie down the Larva Lace behind the bead.

Rainbow Nymph 6

Step 7: Next, dub behind the bead head with the UV Red only.

Rainbow Nymph 7

Step 8: Whip finish the fly behind the bead.

Rainbow Nymph 8

Step 9: The fly is complete.

Rainbow Nymph 9