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Skinny Nelson
step: 1
Pattern Description
The Skinny Nelson was developed by Tracy Peterson of Corvalis, Oregon. It seems this fly was conceived for the bighorn River, during a period of low water years, where its sparse profile and unobtrusiveness made it a killer. Tracy later added a tungsten bead to this super simple pattern to add a bit of weight and make the fly a bit more useful in a dry-dropper application. My partner, Ross Bartholomay fell in love with this fly and every time we go out fishing he has a slew of them in his box. He loves the thin-ness of this pattern, and I beleive this fly works so well because it can cross over from a baetis nymph to a midge pattern in the blink of an eye! This is a ridiculously easy pattern to tie and it will take no time to fill up a row in your fly box, so stop sitting around on the internet and get to tying!
Materials Needed: All materials used here available for mail order. Please use the contact form for pricing and details.

Hook: TMC 3761 #16-20>>>>>>>>>>> Bead: (Optional) Black Tungsten, sized to hook>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Thread: Black 70 Denier>>>>>>>>>> Tail: Ringneck Pheasant Tail Fibers>>>>>> Rib: Small Gold Wire>>>>>>>>>>>> Abdomen: Black 70 Denier Tying Thread>>>>>>> Wingcase: Pearl Flashabou>>>>>>>>>>> Thorax: Peacock Herl
step: 2  
Place the bead on the hook and slide it up to the eye of the hook. Start the tying thread behind the bead and wrap a smooth thread base back to the bend.
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step: 3  
Select three or four pheasant tail fibers and even their tips. Measure the tips against the shank so they are about 2/3 of a shank long.
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step: 4  
Tie the pheasant fibers in at the bend of the hook with a couple firm wraps of thread.
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step: 5  
Wrap the thread forward over the butt ends of the pheasant tail fibers to the back of the bead.
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step: 6  
Clip the butt ends of the pheasant tail fibers flush against the bead. Tie in a length of small gold wire right behind the bead.
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step: 7  
Wrap back over the wire with the thread to the bend of the hook, then return the thread to the back of the bead forming a smooth, slightly tapered abdomen as you go. Do not bulk the fly up with a bunch of thread here...it's called a SKINNY Nelson for a reason!
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step: 8  
Spiral wrap the wire forward from the bend and tie it off at the bead. Clip the excess.
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step: 9  
Tie in Two strands of pearl Flashabou at the center of their length right behind the bead.
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step: 10  
Pull the long front ends of the flash back over the abdomen and tie them in place with a couple turns of thread as shown...
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step: 11  
...here!
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step: 12  
Tie several small peacock herls in by their tips just behind the bead.
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step: 13  
Wrap the thread back over the peacock to the seventy-five percent point. Roll the herls in your fingertips to bunch them into a cord.
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step: 14  
Wrap the corded peacock herl forward to the back edge of the bead and tie off. Clip the excess peacock.
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step: 15  
Pull all four strands of flash over the top of the peacock herl thorax and tie them off at the immediate back edge of the bead.
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step: 16  
Fold the long ends of the flash back once again and trap them under a few firm wraps of thread. Folding the flash like this will prevent it from pulling out when you fish it.
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step: 17  
Clip the excess flash and whip finish the thread. Clip the thread.
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step: 18  
Finished fly. Add water.
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