Meat and Potatoes - Nymphing>>

November 21, 2017

Everyone likes experimenting and trying new flies and techniques to catch fish, but at the end of the day I’d say we all like the catching a little more than the trying. So I had the idea to do a series of articles over the next few months which outline the “Meat and Potato” flies that always seem to draw some attention. This first list outlines three of my “Meat and Potato” nymphing flies. These are patterns that seem to trick fish under an indicator anywhere, anytime.

Pheasant Tail Nymph

Obviously anytime you’ve got classic mayfly water this has got to be a go to in regards to nymphing. This fly is a killer on some of Colorado’s traditional waters, especially if you’re willing to tie some up in sizes twenty or smaller. Catching a twenty plus inch trout on a size twenty hook is pretty invigorating. The standard Pheasant Tail is of course popular but changing this fly up to fit the water and time of year can really help to trick more fish. Whether it’s changing the thread color, rib type, dubbing or something else the smallest tweak can drastically effect the results. Its that versatility and dependability that make this fly such a popular choice.


Hook - Size 22 - 14 Standard Nymph Hook

Thread - 8/0 or smaller

Tail - Pheasant Tail

Thorax - Wrapped Pheasant Tail

Rib - Copper Wire

Thorax - Haretron Dubbing

Legs/Overwing - Pheasant Tail

*Bead Head Optional*





Pat’s Rubber Legs

First up we’ve got a big, ugly, nymph that’s become pretty popular anywhere there are trout fisherman looking to catch some trout. It’s a staple in any anglers box who likes to have a consistent option every time he/she goes out. This fly has blossomed into such a reliable fly that I almost always find myself tying one on at some point during a day on the water. Not only does this nymph flat catch fish it's cheap, quick, and easy to tie for all skill levels which makes it ridiculously efficient. It may not be pretty, complex, or even all that “real-looking” but the fish don’t seem to care.


Hook - Tiemco 5263 Size 10 - 6

Thread - 140 Denier

Weight - Lead Wire

Body - Chinnelle

Legs - Spanflex


Primrose and Pearl (P&P)

The Primrose and Pearl is one of my favorite tailwater midge patterns because like all the flies on this list it seems to work all the time. I first started fishing the P&P on Missouri’s Lake Taneycomo about three years ago during the fall, since then it’s caught fish on Colorado’s Frying Pan River, Arkansas White River, and several other freestone streams and tailwaters. It is an Ozark favorite that seems to translate anywhere the trout seem a little picky or tough to fool.



Hook - Size 20 -18 Curved Nymph Hook

Head - Copper Bead

Thread - Primrose

Body - Thread wrapped over with pearl flashabou.

Rib - Copper Wire




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