charlie's flybox

Skinny Nelson


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Charlie Craven and Charlie's FlyBox, Inc.
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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:

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. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Tie the pheasant fibers in at the bend of the hook with a couple firm wraps of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Wrap the thread forward over the butt ends of the pheasant tail fibers to the back of the bead. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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! charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Spiral wrap the wire forward from the bend and tie it off at the bead. Clip the excess. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Tie in Two strands of pearl Flashabou at the center of their length right behind the bead. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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... charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
...here! charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Tie several small peacock herls in by their tips just behind the bead. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Wrap the corded peacock herl forward to the back edge of the bead and tie off. Clip the excess peacock. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
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. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Clip the excess flash and whip finish the thread. Clip the thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Finished fly. Add water. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox