It was not until the 1940s and 1950s that nymphs became commonplace in the fly boxes of trout fishermen. Prior to then, a variety of wet flies served the function of representing a multitude of immature aquatic food forms. Studies of trout feeding habits revealed that nymphs composed a large portion of a trout's diet. Observent anglers began to promote the use of more exact imitations, and thus the nymph was "discovered." Many of the successful nymph patterns are based on general, rather than specific, design features. We do not believe these flies represent any single, particular insect form, although some of them may be classified differently in other fly listings; rather they appear to be successful because trout mistake them for a variety of possible foods.

The Cooper Bug

The Cooper Bug may be tied in many other colors, including one particularly popular variation tied with dark deer body hair pulled over a peacock herl body. This pattern is also known by other names, including Devil Bug and Doodle Bug, and there are several different schools of thought regarding what this fly represents. Don't underestimate the value of this simple fly.

Hook: Dry Fly or Nymph, 1x long, size 8- 14
Thread: White or Red
Body: Red Chenille
Tail, Shellback and Head: Natural or White Deer body hair

The Beaver Nymph

Beaver fur, like the fur from most other aquatic animals, makes excellent nymph bodies. It's fairly light in color, and it's easily dyed.

Hook: Nymph, 1x -2x long size 10- 14
Thread: Gray
Body: Gray Beaver Fur
Tail: Woodduck Feather Barbs
Legs: Speckeled Partridge
Rib: Gold or Silver Wire

Patterns courtesy of the Harvey Roberson library.