by Paul Egan

Pseudo Seal Nymph


I began fly tying at age 12, when I took a beginner class at Kiene’s fly shop. I’ve been tying flies off and on for several years, but really got going when I had a surgery and was laid up in the house for a few weeks. I became frustrated with the cheap vise I was using and went out and bought a nice one and started to put it to use.


I tied flies for my dad and his fishing partner “Doc”. I still didn’t have a fly rod. The three of us took a trip to the Trinity River system, and the only fish that were caught were on my flies. I was hooked.


Ever since I lost a nice trout on the Provo River in Utah due to a hook that broke, I have been trying to tie better and better flies. My goal is to tie flies that are stronger, more life like, match the bug’s color, are more rugged to last longer, and simple to tie.


The Pseudo Seal Nymph is one of those rugged, simple flies. It uses only four materials and will last through several fish. I have been tying this fly for some time, but it really earned its place in my fly box when I was fishing with Pete Koistinen on the Yuba River after the high waters had changed the river so dramatically. Pete was fishing ahead of me. That is not a good position to be in because Pete can be a vacuum cleaner some times. He will hit every spot and usually pull out a fish or two. He was doing well this morning, picking up fish using an egg pattern. I changed to the Pseudo Seal Nymph and started to pick up fish even after Pete went through the hole. The fish that took the nymph were larger than the ones Pete had been catching. Large enough for Pete to ask what I was using. When I gave him one, he tied it on right away. That morning we caught over 20 fish up to 19 inches.



Hook:  TMC 5262  size 12

Thread:  Unithread 6/0 black

Weight:   .025 lead wire

Tail:  Black Angora Goat

Abdomen:  Black Angora Goat

Ribbing:  Small Silver Wire

Wing Case:  Molted Turkey Tail Feather pretreated with flexament


Tying Instructions:

1.       Mount hook in vise and smash down barb.

2.       Eight wraps of lead wire centered in the thorax position.

3.       Glue lead with zap-a-gap and let dry.

4.       Attach thread in front of lead.

5.       Build thread taper in front of and behind lead.

6.       Wrap the thread back past the point of the barb well into the bend.

7.       Take a small pinch of angora goat dubbing, twist it between your finger and thumb, and tie in for a tail.

8.       Tie in a length of silver wire (about 4 inches).

9.       Twist dub an abdomen and tie off.

10.    Rib with silver wire and secure.

11.    Tie in a strip of turkey tail to be used as a wing case.

12.    Form a dubbing loop and fill it with angora goat laying most of the fibers horizontal.

13.    Spin or twist a dubbing rope and dub a thorax making it very bushy.

14.    Fold turkey tail forward forming wing case, tie in and trim.

15.    Form thread head, whip finish, and glue with head cement.

16.    Tweeze out legs from the thorax with a bodkin or dubbing tweezers.

17.    Insert fly in water containing trout and pay attention to your indicator!

Copyright 2006 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted