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Sticking with the concept of "simplicity"--both of design and of materials needed--I selected an old-as-dirt Polly Rosborough pattern called simply "Muskrat". It is listed as a "searching nymph" in Dave Hughes' book Nymph Fishing (1995). This versatile pattern can be used with the Electric Caddis featured last month, with one or the other tied on the dropper. The pattern can be varied somewhat, by changing the body coloration or that of the collar, adding some ribbing, or adding a bead head.


Hook 3X long nymph hook such as Mustad 9672, sizes 8-18
Thread Black 6/0 or 8/0
Body Muskrat fur
Legs Speckled guinea chicken fibers
Head Black ostrich herl
Options (not to be used with contest entries):
Weight 6-8 wraps of .010 lead or substitute
Ribbing 1 strand of crystal flash or other ribbing
Bead Gold, copper or black


1. Smash barb. Cover shank with thread, leaving thread just above back of barb.
2. Dub a nice tapered cigar-shaped body to a point about 1/3 shank length behind eye.
3. At this same point, tie in legs of guinea chicken speckled feather. They should be tied in "beard" style--i.e., on the bottom of the hook. The legs should extend no farther back than the point of the hook.
4. Select a piece of ostrich herl from the feather. Tie it in butt first at the same point where the legs were tied in. Wind it forward in close, dense winds, leaving enough room for a nice head of black thread.
5. Whip finish. This little gem should be fished deep, especially in the Winter. Fish generally will not be looking for food higher up in the water column at this time of year. Use split shot and an indicator.

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.