Heavy nymphs that get down are ideal this time of year, as rivers start to pick up steam from upstream snowmelt. They may not be cloudy or dirty with full runoff yet, but water levels in the spring are on the rise, and we anglers need flies to anchor two-nymph rigs that get down and stay down.
Above, Tim Flagler ties the SBR Hendrickson Nymphy, a good springtime imitation of the aquatic insect that will eventually become that red-quilled mayfly we all love to fish during its waves of East Coast hatches. This nymph is weighted by both a bead and some non-lead wire, giving it exactly the balance it needs to sink deep into the water column and turn up trout that are waking up to bigger bugs after a long winter spent chasing midges.
Also, I think it’s a beautiful fly, one that I’d love see in a factor of a dozen lining my fly box when I hit the spring flows. Tied in different colors, it’s a reasonable representation of a March Brown more common here in the West, and in slightly larger sizes, it could be a good Green Drake imitation for those rainy summer days in the northern Rockies.
— Chris Hunt