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"The Dark Lord Nymph"

This pattern, which is actually a variant of the hoary old Prince Nymph, was to the best of my knowledge created by Ron Hart, a friend and fellow guide who lives in Mt. Shasta. Fred Gordon has a similar fly, and I suspect many others (me included) have “fiddled” with the Prince Nymph in an effort to attract more trout. What the Prince represents has never been clear, but no one can argue with its success. Likewise, it’s not clear (at least to me) what the Dark Lord represents. It works, and that’s all that counts in the last analysis. I usually fish this as a point fly in a size 18 during the August “dog days,” when only “LBS” little black, er, stuff, seems to work. So, tie up a few of these little gems and hide them in a corner of your fly box for a dog day, or for any day on the water.


Hook Tiemco 3761 or Daiichi 1560, Mustad 3906B, or other standard nymph hooks, #12-20
Bead Black metal bead, sized to hook
Thread Black 8/0
Tail Brown goose biots


Fine gold oval tinsel
Body  Fine black dubbing (rabbit, beaver, or synthetic)
Wing Black goose biots
Hackle Black soft hackle (or use brown if a substitute is needed.


This fly is tied using the same steps as the Prince Nymph. The materials, of course, differ somewhat.

1.      Place hook in vise and smash barb. Slide the black bead onto the hook. Cover the hook with thread back to a point just above the back of the barb.

2.      Tie in the brown biot tail; it should be about 1/3 of the length of the shank. Most tiers find this step difficult. To make it easier, tie the two biots on separately. Later on, with practice, you can tie them both on at one time. Form a small thread ball just above the back of the barb. Place one biot on the far side of the hook, and tie it in just in front of the thread ball; don’t wrap all the way back to the ball yet. Now tie in the other biot on the close side of the hook in the same manner. Hold both biots firmly in place, and wrap back to the thread ball. Secure the butts and cut any excess.

3.      Tie in the ribbing material just above the back of the barb, in front of the biots. Now dub a slim, tapered body to a point just behind the bead. Leave a tiny bit of room between the back of the bead and the dubbed body; this will make it easier to tie in the wing biots.

4.      Wrap ribbing forward in even wraps, and tie it off just behind the bead.

5.      Take two black biots and place them one on top of the other, in a slightly “criss-cross” position so that they look like a slightly open pair of scissors. Measure them to the length of the shank, and tie them in just behind the bead.

6.      Tie in a black (or dark brown) soft hackle (hen works), and take 2 or 3 wraps. Tie it off and cut excess.

7.      Apply a tiny bit of dubbing behind the bead and in front of the hackle to finish the fly, whip finish, glue, and tie this little devil to your tippet.

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.