Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pat's Nymph

This dressing excludes the lead wire that Pat Proffitt recommends, and uses a size 14 dry fly hook rather than the down eye, 2X long, 2X heavy hook with a perfect bend Pat Proffitt assigns. This dresses uses a lightly-variegated, smoky dun grizzly hackle and a brown furnace hen hackle.




Brown and grizzly hackle fibers

Muskrat dubbing

Soft brown and grizzly hackle

Although the fly is billed as a nymphal pattern, the basic, tied-in-the-round design of the Pat’s Nymph is essentially a tailed soft hackle dressing. L. J. DeCuir includes this fly in Southeastern Flies (2000) with two others developed by Pat Proffitt, “a legendary fly fisherman of East Tennessee,” classing the set of three as “mountain flies—simple by highly effective.”

DeCuir notes two variations for dressing the Pat's Nymph: a copper wire rib for the full length of the body and/or partridge substituted for poultry hackle. He points out, as well, that local, East Tennessee tiers often simplify the dressing by leaving out the grizzly hackle, using instead only brown hackle for the tail and collar. 

In a chapter of Masters on the Nymph (1979), "Advanced Nymphing Techniques," Chuck Fothergill describes a Muskrat Nymph that is dressed much like the fly many anglers in East Tennessee also refer to as Pat's Nymph. Fothergill dressed his Muskrat with brown hackle for the tailing and hackle, with lighter tying thread. He notes that "this simple pattern of brown and gray has proven itself for years on countless rivers and lakes."


  1. Neil, I like it a lot. I'm going to tie up a few.

  2. Great AP nymph. Like the 2-hackle design.

    In the late '60's I met an old-timer onstream in Colorado, who gave me a couple of his Muskrats, #10 or #12, tied with brown hen & sparse tailing of wood duck flank. Like Proffit's, these were tied on a 2x long hook & weighted under the body. And they really did kill. I suspect they served to simulate the several species of stonefly nymphs inhabiting the sweet little freestone we were fishing.