Sunday, February 8, 2015

Euro Nymphing - III. Anchor flies

Here are my top two anchor flies, hands down!  The super simple and Egan's frenchie are simple and quick to tie so I don't mind losing them, which you will if your flies are where they should be.  If I had to fish two anchors all season and nothing else, it wouldn't take long to decide.

The Super Simple is another Rich Strolis pattern.  From spring to late summer this is fly catches fish. This fly looks a lot like the standard hare's ear nymph but with an hot orange hot spot and more flash. You can fish this fly in sizes 16 to 10, but my favorite is a size 12.  You can use a European competition hook but a TMC 3761 works well too.  After weighting the hook with 0.030 non-lead wire and snugging it up against the bead, use the heavy thread to build a nice tapered body.  Tie in the tail fibers and put one wrap of thread behind the tail fibers to splay them out.  Tie in the wire, split the thread and dub the split thread.  Re-spin the thread and dubbing to form a loose, rough body.  Wrap the wire forward, tie off and build up the orange hot-spot behind the bead and whip finish.

Strolis Super simple #12
#12 TMC 3761 with 3.5mm tungsten bead
half a dozen wraps of 0.030 non-lead wire
UTC 140 hot orange thread
Coq de Leon tail fibers 
medium copper wire 
gray Haretron dubbing

While the Super Simple shines from spring to late summer, the Frenchie comes into it's own when the cold winds of fall start to blow. This fly is a quick tie and I usually have half a dozen on hand.  I remember one stormy October day on the Housatonic river where the browns where all over the Frenchie while all but ignoring the various droppers I was using.  This is another fly I fish in large sizes (#10).  This fly is weighted with non-lead wrap as illustrated in the previous post for the Rock Candy.

Egan's frenchie
#10 TMC 2487
4.5mm Copper tungsten bead
UTC 140 brown thread; UTC 70 hot pink thread (hot spot)
6 brown pheasant tail fibers (tail and body)
small copper wire rib
Hot pink UV ice dub (hot spot)


  1. I like the bottom one a lot. I have found that tying some pink around the neck of my nymphs has helped, particularly in high pressured water.

    1. Atlas - I never really Harwich thought to why the pink hotspot is effective. I tend to this the franchise deep and just thought the pink just makes it more visible.

  2. Mark
    I think adding bright color to a nymph pattern will result in more takes. Both these patterns meet that criteria and I see why you get a lot of takes on both. You are getting me fired up for the season using the Euro technique with the two fly setup. Thanks for sharing

    1. Bill - glad to hear the posts are helpful

  3. I never gave much thought to Euro-nymphing prior to reading your posts, but it's an interesting style, maybe not so different in substance to more western traditions, though there are some variations, for sure. I guess I've been using some of these techniques in the past without knowing they could be construed as "Euro." Anyway, thanks for your contributions.

    1. Walt - it's really just tight line nymphing with weighted flies. I even like to mix it up and have a weighted nymph on point and use a north country spider as the dropper, now that's European! (is Scotland considered part of Europe?)

  4. The frenchie is my go to nymph and always catches fish. I definitely don't tie them large enough to be my anchor fly but I think I might just try that this year.

  5. A size 10 pheasant tail just sounds wrong but it works!