ANCHOR FLY FOR WINTER NYMPHING

You may have wondered about the photo of me tight-line nymphing at the top of my last post (12/15/14). My friend John Gierach took it last Friday when we met up on Colorado’s South Platte River tailwater near Deckers, CO. We were there mostly to take advantage of an especially warm day, but also to work some of the kinks out of our nymphing technique.

I tight-lined most of the day using the kind of anchor fly rig I described in the 12/15/14 post. The few trout that I did hook up all took the anchor fly. I can't say I was overly surprised by that because it has happened before when I’ve fished this fly pattern in the winter months. Another friend, Doug Albright, showed me a version of it a number of years ago. At the time I saw it mainly as a way to get the anchor fly on the bottom quickly so the trout could have a look at the dropper fly, but they always seem to prefer the anchor fly.

I like the simplicity and versatility of the pattern. I tie them with one or two 7/64-inch tungsten beads which gives me a light and a heavy version which covers most of the winter water conditions I run into on Colorado’s tailwaters. The body is gray thread ribbed with Wapsi extra small Gun Metal Blue Ultra Wire. I use a size 16 TMC 2487 hook for both the light and heavy version of the fly, but there’s plenty of room for variations depending on where you’re fishing. Let me know how it works for you.

 use the one tungsten bead version of the fly for slower, shallower water and the two tungsten bead version for heavier water.

use the one tungsten bead version of the fly for slower, shallower water and the two tungsten bead version for heavier water.