Prince Nymph – Prepare for Battle

prince nymph 2From Guest Blogger: John D. Lemont, Esq.

What a fantastic fly is the Prince Nymph.  Streamline but buggy.  Sharp and angry yet beauty shines through in its simplicity.  Generally considered an attractor but clearly displaying traits in line with a stone. Size 16 and 18 have produced for me over the years.  They are particularly effective in the early season on brookies in the northeast and rainbows in the west, although a brown or two has occasionally fell victim.   Use a tungsten bead and some fine lead wire to get down to the deeper feeding zones.   The red throat is a key element of the design which is emphasized in European styles.  Jungle cock soft hackle can make a statement. Tie up a few dozen and get ready to battle.

One thought on “Prince Nymph – Prepare for Battle

  1. Michael Vorhis

    Thanks for the comments on the Prince! After some years of avoiding this (agreed) angry-looking pattern, a couple of weeks ago I had nothing left to try, and put them into play…and enjoyed the best day in many years, with multiple big muscle-bound rainbows racing each other for the chance to get hooked. I quickly lost my best few and still did well with a big fat (could have even been a #12) clumsy-looking one I’d stuck into the fly box long before. Both Classic and “Formerly Known As” versions worked equally well that day.

    I have no idea why people call this a simple fly, or one that’s “fairly easy to tie.” Trying to replenish my fly box after that recent trip, I began to toss some of these Princes together. The first half dozen were horrible! I’m not a famous tier but I generally do acceptable work…but these things require a few tricks to make the horns lay flat, the herl stay on, the hackle lean back, etc.

    I’ve found that “glue before herl” helps, as does reinforcing the herl with the tying thread. Those tricks are standard with herl, I know, but I think they’re particularly critical for the Prince due to all the attention it gets from trout teeth. Most importantly I’ve discovered that a bead head greatly simplifies the applying of the “horns,” especially in making them lay flat and stay on top during the tie. A bead head also helps with the soft hackle, helping the thread to stay in front of it and keeping the hackle out of the hook eye. Finally, a bead head also lets me avoid switching from the red tying thread that I like to start with back at the tail to a black thread just to make the head; I can just stay with the red, and I get a little red collar behind the bead head, and the bead is still the head–I don’t need a black thread head.

    And since I have a “personal problem” in that I just plain dislike how a metal bead head changes the look of a nymph pattern (I prefer to use a little shot up the leader instead), I am now using a tiny glass bead for the Prince Nymph’s head–I can use a dark color that’s not very dissimilar from a head of black thread, and I can keep it small and still it has the advantages of a bead that I mentioned above.

    My Princes and Formerlies still don’t win art contests but they are cohesive enough that I’ll believe in them when on the stream. Oh, that reminds me…I have to take a razor blade to those early ties, to reclaim the hook…and to make sure nobody sees those embarrassing things….

    – Mike

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