Low-Rider Emerging Nymph


The Low-Rider Emerging Nymph is a pattern that is meant to be fished in the surface film (or just under) to imitate an “almost-there” emerging mayfly. I consider it a “top 10″ trout pattern (at least for fishing hatches), and use it heavily (along with trailing-shuck soft-hackles like the Wet/Dry Fly) during hatches of PMD, BWO, and so forth.


I tie the L-REN with dubbing that I can twist into a very tight, thin noodle (silk or some other very fine-denier fiber), so that the fly is lean and long in the abdomen, and short and plump in the thorax. I tune the abdomen-to-thorax length ratio to the mayfly at hand, but I find that a 70/30 ratio is a solid place to start. The tails are tied fan-style, the legs are usually dun hackle (or hackle to match insect color), wound 3/4-parachute style, and the post-turned-wingcase is gray polypropylene yarn or Z-lon. The post/wingcase is tied off behind the eye and clipped to the same length as the eye.

One key here: Don’t overdress the body or hackle of the fly! Keep it real, which often means much thinner than one would normally tie. I fished a bunch of variations of this fly, dressed from “emaciated” to “juicy,” and I found that, anecdotally, I had best success when I went as close to real body dimensions as I could get, perhaps just adding a bit extra to the thorax (is that really all that surprising?).

The idea with this type of fly is to present a convincing surface impression/silhouette, with materials that allow delicacy of form and hint at structures, versus trying to boldly define them. The 3/4 parachute style is a favored tying technique, and I like its versatility across many types of legged and winged patterns. Due to the tying style, the “nymph” can also double for a spinner (keep that in mind for later in a hatch sequence).

When it comes to presentation, fish the thing dead-drift, with some action, or even with a split-shot on the bottom if you prefer. Just get it to where the fish are, and make it behave like it should for the given angling situation. You may want to add a touch of floatant to the thorax only, or fish the fly just subsurface (with a micro-indicator if need be).

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