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The Scruffy Nymphs
  |  First Published: June 2011



Late autumn into winter fishing on Victorian streams can be a daunting prospect, not only for the angler but the fish as well. In-stream food aquatic life slows down and in many cases become dormant making getting a decent feed for the fish difficult.

Water temperatures drop and the trout’s metabolism slows down making it hard to entice a reaction, so getting a fly down deep and into the trout’s zone is the key. Then flicking the switch to get them interested is the next challenge, and a largish fly with a bit of colour is usually the best method.

A large scruffy bead head is my fly of choice at these times. The large orange bead provides a bit of visibility in the murky depths, the orange rubber legs provide just the right amount of movement to suggest life, and the translucent effect of the dubbing just gives it that nice buggy look.

I often fish this fly with a smaller trailing nymph, as often the big nymph will whiz past arousing the trout’s interest only to see it grab the smaller nymph as it zips past.

There are several effective ways to fish this set up, first is to fish up and across the stream with the flies under an indicator, placing an upstream mend into the fly line will aid the flies reaching depth, a dip in the indicator should see you lifting the rod tip rapidly.

Second and equally effective is to fish the team across and down especially if the water is slightly discoloured. If you can cast the flies into the shallows on the opposite bank and let the flies swing across the current from shallow to deep is a good trick as often with increased flows trout can often seek refuge in the slacker water close to the bank.

This fly can also be fished in impoundments. Tied in slightly smaller sizes it can be used to search shallow gravelly banks and rocky shorelines. In impoundments with no spawning streams, trout will often cruise these banks to try and get rid of eggs.

Find a shore where any available breeze is blowing parallel to the shore and place the fly under an indicator letting the wind drift the fly along these drop offs and weed beds for you, much the same as fishing the midge pupa.

Facts

TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS

HOOK:Mustad C49s # 12 - 8
THREAD:Black 6/-
BODY: Metallic copper & brown Czech Nymph-dub
BEAD:Orange copper bead.
TAIL:Brown goose biots.
RIB:UTC med round rib (amber)
LEGS:Harline dubbing med neon orange.
WINGCASE:Medium brown Scudback.

Reads: 1251

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