AJ Nymph - A Mini Leech

The May 2000 issue of the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide, in describing flies for use during the non-hatch periods on Long Island's Connequat River, suggested several, including the AJ Nymph. The claim that it was working well was an understatement as it was one of the most productive flies on the river. Using the AJ Nymph I caught 14 trout in a row in the 14 to 18 inch range and a 26 inch rainbow in one pool. This fish had a girth of 151/2 inches and weighed 7 pounds!

The AJ Nymph resembles a mini leech favored by Randall Kaufmann. Leeches are one of the trout's favorite foods. They are common in most moving water, as well as lakes and ponds, and especially numerous in the gravel and runs where the flow includes a lot of attached algae. Leeches feed on many of the same aquatic insects we simulate with our flies, such as, mayfly nymphs, midge larvae, scuds and small crustaceans. While many of the leeches fishermen see in the waters are as large as 3 to 4 inches, if they pump trout stomachs they find that fish seem to feed on smaller leeches 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Thus the value of this fly is that it imitates the smaller sizes and snake-like movements of leeches that seem to excite trout to strike.

Tying The Fly

Hook: Debarb the hook.
Bead: Put bead next to eye.
Thread: Secure bead and wrap back to the area above the point of the hook.
Tail: Tail length equals length of entire hook, starting just above the point. This will place the hook point nearer the tail - one of two things to prevent short strikes. A second is to use a small clump of matching color fibers as an under tail These support the tail and need to be slightly shorter. All tail fibers should be the same length and wrapped forward to the bead for a smooth under body.
Body: Use Ostrich herl with barbs 21/2 to 3 inches long whose barbuies are 1/8 inch long. Tie in the barb tip from over the hook point and wrap to the bead and tie off The barbules will stand firmly and make a dense body. Use a drop of cement to secure.


Hook: Mustad 9671 #14 - 2XL
Bead: Tungsten, size 3/32, gold
Thread: 3/0 Mono- matching colors - Pink or Chartreuse
Tail: Microfibettes Blood Marabou - Pink or Chartreuse
Body: : Black Ostrich Herl

Note: Trout hit these flies lightly so set the hook at every pause of your strike indicator!