I’ve always been a fan of tungsten in my fly tying. For some reason, I just tend to cast heavy nymphs and streamers better when the weight is at the fly, instead of pinched onto the line as split shot or paste. It’s a personal preference, I suspect, and it works for me.
I especially like tungsten when I’m nymphing deep in the cold, winter months. It gets down quickly and it’s density means I don’t need a huge bead tied into my fly, meaning I can go pretty small to imitate the midge and small caddis nymphs that are prevelent in my home waters.
After watching Tim Flagler tie the Navy Diver (above), I’m convinced that I’ve found my next great dredge pattern for rivers like the Warm River or the Bear River here in eastern Idaho. These rivers have plenty of deep holding water for winter trout, and putting a fly like this right in front of them should up my catch rate and make those frigid days on the water a bit more palatable. I especially like the tail end of the video, where Tim shows the possible varieties. And, of course, the simplicity of the fly makes it all the more appealing.
If you’re looking for your next winter midge nymph, this might be the bug for you. Enjoy.
— Chris Hunt