A number of people have inquired about how to tie my Swimming Hex nymph pattern featured in Fly Tyer Magazine- Spring 2010 as a part of “Rainy’s Newest Flies for 2010.” I know what you are thinking – not another hex nymph pattern? Yep, but this one is a little different than the others out there.
Originally I designed this pattern for carp fishing – weighted eyes tied on the topside of the hook keep the point up and sharp, while a rabbit strip tail creates lots of motion when striped or from wave action. Fished slowly with short strips or “bumps” on the retrieve, this nymph fly does a great job of imitating the burrowing mayflies found in the silt of my favorite carp waters. But there are times when a fast-paced strip to emulate a swimming hex drives both carp and smallmouth bass nuts.
I think “swimming” this pattern does a good job of imitating juvenile gobies which are so prevalent in the Great Lakes. Steelhead anglers will find fishing this pattern under a float to be effective since it has lots of motion due to the rabbit strip tail and looks like the hex nymphs/wigglers swimming in the same waters.
I like to tie this pattern in a variety of different weights (Bead-chain eyes and various lead dumb-bell weights) to get down in a variety of depths and conditions – sometimes when fishing to moving or cruising carp and smallmouth bass, you want to fly to get down quick as you try to intercept them. After you tie this fly on be sure to massage some water into it to help sink it; rabbit hair inherently has lots of air trapped within causing it to float or suspend at first.
Not a fly tier? You can buy these from your local fly shop that sells Rainy’s flies.
Swimming Hex Recipe
Hook: Mustad C49S #6 or TFS 2500
Thread: Uni 6/0 Camel
Body: McLean’s tan/brown barred rabbit strip
Thorax: Wapsi’s Golden Stone Lifecycle dubbing
Eyes: Bead chain – med or lead dumbbell eyes – extra small, or small
Hackle: Pheasant Rump Feather
Legs: Sili-Legs – pumpkin/black
Wing Case: Peacock Herl
Gills: Gray fibers from the base of pheasant feather
Step 2. Cut a piece of rabbit strip about three times the length of hook shank. Remove hook
from vise and poke the hook point through it so that the eyes are down and the fur is up.
Tie it down so it’s slightly on the curved part of the shank encouraging an upright position.