Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tying the CK Nymph

    Fly patterns that are versatile, easy to fish, and relatively simple to tie are truly gems to have in the fly box.  The CK Nymph, tied by Charlottesville's Chuck Kraft, is one such, and has seen national success.  Tied in an array of colors and sizes, the "CK" is a staple for trout and panfish, in small waters and big, moving and still.

*These instructions are for a black pattern.  To change, simply match the body color with the thread.*


Hook:        # 8-14 2X long nymph
Thread:     6/0 Black
Tail:           Mallard flank feathers died wood  
Body:         Black yarn
Weight:      .015" lead wire
Hackle:      Grizzly hackle, trimmed

  1. Secure the hook in the vice, and place wraps of lead to cover the hook shank from opposite the barb to ~1/4 of the hook length from the eye.
  2. Start the thread in front of the lead wraps, and build up a thread dam in front of the wraps to prevent the weight from sliding.  Do the same on the tail end of the wraps, and fill the lead wraps with thread.
  3. Select a single wood duck flank feather, group the fiber tips, and secure with a few wraps a tail with a length equal to, or slightly longer than, the distance between the bend and the hook point.
  4. Tie in a short length of black yarn to form the underbody and take one wrap forward on the hook shank.  Tie off with the thread, creating a small bump of yarn.
  5. Tie in a piece of webby, grade 2 grizzly hackle by the quill, having stripped the fine (marabou) fibers from the stem.  
  6. Take hold, again, of the yarn, and make evenly-spaced wraps forward to the head, leaving a small gap between wraps to fit your hackle's stem as you wrap it forward.  Tie off the yarn just above the wraps of wire.
  7. Begin taking wraps of grizzly hackle forward, doing your best to land the stem in the gaps left in the yarn.  This, along with the bump on the hind end of the fly, will provide increased durability to the fly, keeping the hackle's stem buried and out of reach of teeth.
  8. Make single wraps in each slot left by your yarn wraps, and finish up the collar with two wraps and a few securing turns of thread.
  9. Build up a solid, tapered head of thread, whip finish, and cement (or not).
  10. To complete the pattern, trim the grizzly hackle short--stubbly, with a tapered length, leaving the fibers longest (but still short) at the collar.

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