a little foray today into the world of competition-type nymphs from the U.S.
as in most comp-style flies we’ll notice a great lack of realism and a strong tendency for generalised shapes, profiles, colours and size: essential triggers.
triggers that work in catching more fish and not more fisherman. they’re also easy, fast and relatively inexpensive to tie, something of importance when deepwater dredging means leaving quite a few on the bottom.
first off the Tungsten Torpedo created by Kevin Compton tied by Mat Grobert. i don’t know if Kevin is still tying for the US team as we haven’t spoken in a while but i’ve been using several of his patterns over the years and if they’re still present in my boxes its because they’re go-getters.
sure, there’s a need for big fatty nymphs as in today’s second set but generally speaking, a lot of mayfly nymph bodies are just too darn plump and maybe more importantly, too dense and light blocking. the TT counters this trend by having a very skinny body and having the dubbing ‘hackle’ settle back along the body during the drift creating a moving, lively, translucent veil. good stuff indeed.
now on to the fatty ! Walt’s Worm and it’s flashier variant created by Walt Young tied by Tim Flagler.
why this thing would be called a worm is beyond me but ! the result is a classic and very simple to tie and expendable caddis or cased caddis or other bottom-tumbling big-profiled bug thing imitation tied on a jig hook to ride point up during the drift and (hopefully) catch a little less on stream bottom structure. personally, and in the alpine-type streams i regularly fish, i find that yes, point-up flies tend to hook up less by the hook point itself but then the bead often gets wedged in between rocks resulting in just a little less flies left in the water. basically, they seem to hang up just the same but if its a ‘wedge’ the fly will usually pop out by doing a roll cast upstream provided there’s fly line outside of the rod tip, not very common when ‘Euro-Numphing’ but hell, nothing’s perfect…
at first glance these flies aren’t all that unique, fancy or impressive but after a closer look they’re the fruit of a lot experience and a heck of a lot of fish. effective fly design at its best. enjoy !