I recently wrote about a new technique for created in a nymph body with breathing gills along the sides.
In more recent weeks, I have been working up a few more variants and exploring the concept further.Fly tiers will know that such experimentation is a frustrating thing in many respects. You end up with several disasters before you get anything worthwhile. Materials are not as fine as you thought they would be, or not quite subtle enough, or too slippery to bond against, and so it goes; and you end up with little film canisters of tangled cast offs, of zero value to the fisherman in you.
We have a long awaited fishing trip coming up shortly, and instead of stocking up my boxes, I am “wasting” hooks and tying materials experimenting.
But when you get it right, it is all worth it.
I don’t know that I have the gilled body nymph right yet, but I have succeeded in incorporating more translucence, and sparkle into the pattern.
My first attempts were a little dark and dull, and lacked the “light” that I wanted.
To solve this, I assembled my materials with light and translucence in mind:
I went with a v-rib that was much lighter in colour, and which therefore showed off it’s translucence a whole lot better.
With some light shining through the body, this then gave me an opportunity to incorporate some dazzle and colour from within the nymph body. I did this with various shades of Hends body quill, and Flashabou or Krystal Flash. To moderate the flash just a little, one option is to twist a strand of coloured flashabou and one of black krystal flash. Copper and black gives you a really juicy natural look, that peers at you from beneath the V-rib. The colour is there, but so is a buggy darkness that you see in a natural insect when it wriggles on the palm of your hand.
For the legs, I had previously used V-Rib. This has good volume, but it lacks a certain natural bugginess. I tried some rubber legs, but they are a little square.
So I replaced this with Goose Biots, which somehow look more natural. I have since acquired some micro rubber legs, which I have plans for.
Then to add more sheen in the thorax area, I switched from turkey to scud back material.
What we now have is a fly that lets in more light, and shows promise of a little more sheen and liveliness, but still with the ostrich herl gills down either side.
Perhaps you have some ideas to contribute to this evolving pattern?