Fly Tying Video: Green Drake Floating Nymph

The Green Drake Floating Nymph is my go-to dropper when the drakes are out. These bugs usually start popping around mid-to late in the afternoon in the spring, meaning any time from June through July. I'll run a larger drake as my lead fly and put this pattern behind as my dropper. This bug is killer—it’s really designed to sit mid-surface and not sink. When the fly gets wet the hares-ear dubbing and the wire tied into the abdomen helps the rear portion sit lower, giving the fly a realistic posture. The foam back holds the fly up in the surface and makes it look like a struggling nymph ready to hatch. At times this floating nymph will outfish a dry and you really have to pay attention to the dropper, or at least have an idea where the dropper may land in relation to your dry. The fish may take this fly in a subtle fashion, so the take can be hard to spot. When in doubt, set. I don't run the floating nymph far behind my lead fly for that reason. I usually upsize my tippet to 3X when fishing this nymph, which doesn’t make a difference to the fish.


Material List:

Hook: Dai Riki #8 270
Thread: 6/0 Uni Dark Brown
Tail & Over Abdomen: Pheasant Tail
Rib: Copper Wire Brassie
Abdomen: Hares Ear Ice Dub Tan
Dubbing Thorax: Hares Ear Ice Dub Grey
Wing Case Legs: Partridge Hackle
Wing Case: Fuzzy Foam Light Olive
Under Body Stretch Wing Case: Pearl Mylar
Wing Case Over Lay: Loon UV Thick Glue
Wing Case: Brown Body Stretch 1/4"

Hey, guys. Tyler at North 40 Fly Shop in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, coming to you with a three part series on the green drake, one of our really popular hatches in North Idaho and the first fly we're gonna do today is the green drake floating nymph, one of my favorite patterns and kind of my own little design.

This fly's more so to be run as a dropper. You can nymph with it. But you're gonna need a little bit of extra weight to get it down because it is unweighted and it does have foam in it. So kind of the idea here is to run it as a dropper or an emerger behind your dry fly. But it's a great fly, get a lot of fish on this one, probably more than I do on the top fly or your dry fly. So just give you kind of a closer look here. Kind of a neat looking fly. Kind of utilizing some UV glue as well in there. But we're gonna do the fly on a 270 size 8 in the Dai-Riki. We're gonna use 1/4" chocolate body strips.

The thorax is gonna be hare's ear ice dub in the gray. The abdomen will be the hare's ear in the tan. The foam back will be this olive furry foam and then we're gonna use partridge for the legs coming out underneath the wing case and we'll have some pearlescent Mylar for underneath the wing case or underneath the body stretch, brass wire for the ribbing over top of the abdomen and then the tail and the back of the abdomen will be pheasant tail and then we'll also use six aught brown uni-thread.

We're gonna start by tying in up front here, guys. We're gonna tie a wire in first and we're gonna tie in the wire about the 2/3 point up the hook shank and tie this in really well. It is slippery and it can pull out if you don't tie it down well. Okay, next, we'll do the abdomen here with our tan ice dub. Next, we'll do our tail and it also goes over the back of the fly. Again, the pheasant tail for the back.

So pre-measure, you don't want a very long tail about so much is gonna stick out of the back of the fly there. So pre-measure it and we'll use our wire to over-rib and try to keep the pheasant tail right up on top there. All right, next, guys, we're gonna do our body stretch. We're gonna taper a little bit so it ties in a little bit better. Do our Mylar next and that's gonna be kind of a nice little visible strip underneath the body stretch there and we'll do our furry foam. We're gonna have about a, oh, 1/4" wide strip there. Again, I do a small taper so it's not so bulky when you tie it in and next, we're gonna do our legs, which is the partridge. So we'll start by grabbing the tips here. Cut there. Next, we'll do our ice dub in the gray for the thorax. Use a fair amount here because the thorax is gonna be a little bit more pronounced than the abdomen will. So when you lay the partridge in there, kind of want to stroke those flat fibers back a little bit. Furry foam next.

Trim that off nice and close and don't crowd your eye. Mylar's next and then your body stretch last. Give him a nice tug, nice pull there and it'll compress in there and then when you cut this, same thing. Give it a nice pull and it'll clean up real good. Go ahead and tie the fly off. We'll add some glue. All right, we'll do some a little bit on the pheasant tail on the back, kind of give him a little durability and then lastly, we'll do our UV glue on the shellback or the wing case. Give it a minute to dry here. Should be good to go. Give it a test and you can pick out the thorax here a little bit here, guys. Give a little more buggy look to it. That's it. Green dark floating nymph.

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Tyler Balich grew up in Anchorage, Alaska where, naturally, he learned to hunt and fish. He moved to north Idaho 23 years ago and now manages North 40 Fly Shop in Coeur d’Alene. When not wandering the mountains for elk, or wading rivers for cutthroat trout, or floating down Montana’s Clark Fork River, he spends time with his wife and children.

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