|The Whitetail Nymph|
Every time I integrate deer hair into a fly pattern, my memories drift back to a time that included dodging many Whitetail deer on the lonely highways and roads of Northern Minnesota. My perspective suggests that the whites and browns of the body and tail of this well respected deer coincide with life cycle color characteristics of many natural aquatic insects found in trout streams. Considering my observation, I developed a pattern that envelops both the characteristics of the deer and aquatic insects in their various stages. For instance, the white wrapping of thread and the combination of the black bead may replicate a peeking caddis still in the larval stage.
|Image via ForestWander.com|
|Peeking Caddis Image via Colorado Skies Outfitters Web site|
The spun deer hair splayed over the dubbed throrax of the fly could suggest a sculpin, which is a popular bait fish in most trout streams. "Trout and sculpins live in similar stream habitats. But more importantly they eat similar food--primarily aquatic insects, although sculpins do not feed on surface foods. Both trout and sculpins will eat each other at certain times" (Hafele & Hughes, 2000).
|Image via Samford University Web site|
The deer hair and antron tail also tend to replicate emerging caddis legs trying to rid the caddis pupal shuck during the emergence stage. Nevertheless, I tie the pattern with a tan, cream, or olive body, which all have worked with success. Ultimately, the White Tail Nymph is a universal searching pattern that can work in various sizes using a dead drift or on the swing. Hope you will give it a try.
|Emerging Caddis Image via Troutnut.com|
The Whitetail Nymph Recipe:
Hook: Nymph (#14-18)
Head: Nickel Bead
Hot Spot: UTC 70, White
Body: UTC 120, Tan, Olive, Cream
Hackle: Deer Hair
Wing: Goose Biots
Thorax: Natural Hares Ear Dubbin
Ribbing: Copper or Gold Ultra Wire
Tail: Brown and White Antron