The Prince Nymph and it’s variations have been around for years. The standard is one of those flies that don’t imitate anything in particular other than something that appears to be trout chow. Instead of peacock herl, I used tinsel which ensures this fly is going to get down to where the nymphs are without delay. To make the fly more durable and to get it down even quicker, tinsel ribbing was substituted for black wire. Next time you need to make a prince even more attractive, tie one of these beauties up.
Begin by mashing the barb on your hook and sliding the gold bead onto the shank. Start your thread right behind the bead and end with it at the bend of the hook. The choice of biots is really yours but I like using rusty brown goose biots for the tail. Snip two free and pair them back-to-back so that they splay apart. Pinch them between your thumb and index finger and set them parallel on either side of the hook shank. Give your bobbin a counterclockwise spin and use a pinch wrap to secure the biots to the shank. A quick tip here is to SLIGHTLY rotate both biots toward you as the torque from the thread will orient the biots straight down the shank of the hook, perfectly aligned. Make tighter wraps forward and end approximately at the hook’s midpoint. Snip them off close to the thread and then make wraps forward to just behind the bead.
Next, you’ll tie in a length of both the black wire and tinsel together. Try to make the body slightly tapered and nice and smooth so the tinsel lays flat. End with your thread right in front of the tail. Also, in this case I’m using double-sided tinsel. You’ll notice the color we’re going to use (red) is facing away from you. When we make spiraling wraps with it, it’ll lay flat if it’s oriented this way.
Start with the tinsel and making spiraling wraps forward, end approximately two-thirds of the way up the shank from the bend of the hook. Capture the tinsel with your thread and then make counter-wraps with your wire and secure it to the shank with tight wraps. Helicopter the excess wire off.
Dub a thin, short dubbing noodle of peacock ice dubbing and create a thorax that’s slightly larger than the bead. End with the thread directly behind the beachhead.
To create the illusion of moving legs, take a hackle from a hen cape and strip off the longer feathers until you get to the fibers that are the length of the body of the fly. Strip the remaining fibers rearward and tie in hackle by just the tips directly behind the beadhead. Stroke the fibers towards the back of the fly. Make one complete wrap while making sure the fibers are oriented towards the tail. Capture the stem with a couple securing wraps and snip off the stem. Pull the fibers down and take a few more wraps so the majority of the fibers are off to the sides and bottom of the fly. This gives it a MUCH cleaner look than snipping off the fibers on top. Easier? No, but to me, it’s worth it. Whether the fish care; I highly doubt it.
Admittedly, this is my least favorite step but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. To change things up, I use turkey biots for the wing case. Snip two free and orient them so they are turned downward and form an “X”. Lay them on top of the fly and make two loose wraps of thread behind the bead. This frees up a hand giving you the opportunity to make sure the tips are aligned and set up just the way you want them before you make tighter wraps. Once they’re in position, snip the excess off and pull the stems rearward while wrapping over them. Clean the collar up and make a three or four-turn whip finish.
Next time the water is stained and you need some extra color, try this attractive prince on for size.
An Attractive Prince
Thread: UTC 70 – Black
Hook: Orvis 1541 – Size 14
Tail: Goose Biot – Rusty Brown
Wingcase: Turkey Biot – White
Body: 1/16″ Red Tinsel
Segmentation: UTC Wire – Small, Black
Thorax: Peacock Ice Dubbing
Legs: Hen Cape – Brown Speckled