charlie's flybox

Red Fox Squirrel Nymph


Fly Patterns brought to you by Charlie's FlyBox
© All images, slogans and content are strictly copyrighted and may not be used or copied
without permission.
Charlie Craven and Charlie's FlyBox, Inc.
print this page

step: 1
Pattern Description
Let's say there was this guy, and let's say he was from, oh, let's say Kalamazoo, Michigan. Let's say this guy had been harping on a certain fly tyer to add a certain pattern to this certain website. Let's say that very patient and compassionate fly tyer had finally given in and complied with this request. Let's say this is the reason why this fly is on the site and take it from there. The Red Fox Squirrel Nymph is a creation from the vise of the ubiquitous Dave Whitlock. The RFSN is Dave's answer to the Hare's Ear nymph, and is built along the same scruffy guidelines. The addition of the soft hackle collar is optional, but seems to have become a standard feature these days. The RFSN can be fished for a variety of fish species, and imitates an equally varied collection of insects. Mayflies, stoneflies, scuds, and a plethora of other creepy crawlies are matched by this non-descript pattern. A really simple pattern to tie, with countless variations (bead head, no bead, rubber leg, marabou tail, flash back etc...)the Red Fox can be a great pattern in the right hands. It's just too plain ugly for my tastes, but a certain guy in Kalamazoo would argue that point til the end.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 5262 #10-18 Bead: Gold Colored brass or Tungsten Weight: Lead Wire Thread: 8/0 UNI Rusty Brown Tail: Mottled Brown Hen Saddle Feather fibers OR Guard hairs from a red fox squirrel hide...like you're gonna have that laying around! Rib: Gold Ultra-Wire, Brassie size Abdomen: Whitlock's Red Fox Squirrel Belly Dubbing Thorax: Whitlock's Red Fox Squirrel Back Dubbing Hackle: Mottled hen saddle Feather Head: Whitlock's Red Fox Squirrel Back Dubbing
step: 2
Place the bead on the hook with the small hole toward the eye and slide the bead up to the hook eye. Make 6-12 turns of lead wire around the middle of the hook shank and break off the ends of the lead wraps. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Shove the lead wraps up into the back of the bead. These wraps will add some weight to the fly and center the bead on the shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Start the thread behind the lead wraps and build up a taper from the bare hook shank to the lead wraps as shown. Continue to the bend with a thin layer of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Peel a clump of fibers from a hen saddle feather, keeping the tips even. The original pattern calls for squirrel body hair for the tail, but, who's gonna have that laying around? charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Roll the hen fibers into a clump and tie them in at the bend with the tips extending past the bend about one half of a shank length. Wrap forward over the butt ends up onto the lead wraps and clip the excess. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Tie in a length of gold wire from the back edge of the lead wraps to the base of the tail along the near side of the hook. Be sure to anchor the wire at the bend with several tight turns of thread, and then return the thread to the mid-point on the shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Apply a thin layer of squirrel belly dubbing to the thread and dub a tapered abdomen from the base of the tail to the seventy-five percent point on the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Spiral wrap the wire over the abdomen with five or six turns and tie it off at the front of the abdomen. Helicopter the end of the wire until it breaks off. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Dub the thread loosely with the darker squirrel back dubbing and build a roundish thorax on the front third of the shank behind the bead. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Select and prepare a hen saddle feather. You want a feather with webby fibers and barbs that are about as long as the hook shank. Tie this feather in by its butt end at the back edge of the bead. Be sure to really anchor it down, as these feathers really want to pull out and make you swear. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Pull the tip of the feather up and, with wetted fingers, stroke the fibers to the backside of the quill, folding them into a wet fly hackle. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Wrap the folded hackle one or two times around the hook at the back of the bead and tie it off with a couple tight turns of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Apply a bit more of the dark dubbing to the thread and use it to build a narrow band of dubbing between the back edge of the bead and the hackle collar. This dubbing will also help to sweep the hackle fibers back along the body of the fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Whip finish the thread at the back edge of the bead and clip. Go over the entire fly with a wire dubbing brush to scruff it up a bit. Ugly is good here. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox