Featured | Trout Tips

Tying the Sweet Pea

Small attractor nymphs like the Sweat Pea are great trailing flies in low-water conditions.

This time of year, I really love to fish double-nymph rigs, using a heavier bug as the lead fly and trailing behind it a smaller fly, but maybe something a little more impressionistic than what I might expect to see in the river.

For instance, with lower flows here on the South Fork of the Snake, I might drop a big stonefly nymph — or even a weighted Girdle Bug — as my lead fly, and then trail it with something smaller, but also something a little different, like a small Prince, a lime-green Copper John or just something with some flash.

Tying the Sweet Pea.

Thanks to Matt Callies from Loon Outdoors, I now have a new favorite trailing fly — the Sweet Pea. In a size 16 or so, this sparkly little nymph does a couple of things I like. First, it’s sparse, so there’s not a lot of water resistance. The colored bead — and you can use any color you like, as you’ll hear Matt espouse in the video above — adds just enough weight to send the fly deep in a hurry. Second, this bug is a quick tie at the vise, particularly if, instead of using natural quill on your fly, you go with the holographic material Matt uses in the video. Note: I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll be looking for it on my next visit to the fly shop.

Regardless of whether you choose natural quill for the body (I tied mine using moose mane, and it wasn’t as handsome as the artificial quill Matt uses, but it worked just fine) or if you go with the synthetic stuff, you can probably tie up a dozen over a couple tumblers of whiskey with the basketball game on the background.

Check it out and see what you think. And thanks, Matt, for the great pattern.