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Covert Nymph (Threadless) Body Fly Pattern

Covert Nymph Fly Pattern

The Covert Nymph Body Fly Pattern
… look Ma, no thread! 🙂

Sometimes during the busy tying season I have to take a break from tying chironomids (sounds crazy, I know). When you take a break from repetitive pattern tying, it’s a good time to get creative, at least it is for me.  Awhile back I purchased a bunch of new tying materials and the Textreme Body Fly material really piqued my interest. During one of those creative breaks I tried a bunch of different patterns using Body Fly, just to gauge its’ ease of use. I remember tying a chironomid with a few colours, perhaps a scud or two, and thinking “it’s almost like plastic thread.” At the time I was just cutting lengths of material off of the spool and wrapping via my Renzetti rotary vise. I thought “Hmm, maybe you are supposed to put this stuff on a bobbin and use it instead of tying thread?”

I remember having some mixed success with body fly on a bobbin, but realized you just needed to be mindful of the “thread” tension to avoid break off, or fraying of the material. Heck, I discovered you could even whip finish the fly if you were careful and didn’t overdo finishing wraps! From that point I came up with a line up of mayfly nymph colours  that utilized zero tying thread.  The Covert Nymph Series was born, using Textreme Body Fly as the workhorse for these flies. It serves as both the tying thread and body material.

Listed below are the tying materials and instructions for three different colour phase covert nymph patterns to imitate the mays found on our local waters. However, by simply adjusting size the covert phantom/crystal nymph also works very well to represent damsel (11 – 13) and dragonfly (11-9) nymphs. And tied a bit heavier in the rear end (and without the tail) can also serve as a very decent caddis pupa! The Covert Nymph is a very versatile pattern who’s range is only limited by your imagination … 🙂

Covert Nymph – Jack Sparrow Mayfly

Covert Nymph - Jack Sparrow Mayfly

Covert Nymph – Jack Sparrow Mayfly | Materials List:

Hook: Alec Jackson Phantom Hook | Size 13 or 15 (Available Sizes 9 – 17)
Tail & Shellback: Black Dyed Pheasant Tail (5 strands or so)
Rib: Small Brown Ultrawire (or silver)
Thorax: Dubbed Peacock Black Ice Dub (sparse)
Body & Tying Material: Textreme Body Fly Pearl in Fluorescent Black

Covert Nymph – Jack Sparrow Mayfly | Tying Instructions:

Tie in body fly and dress the hook to hook bend and back up to hook eye. Tie in ultrawire rib and wrap back to hook bend. Place pheasant tail in position for tail and secure using 2 pinch anchoring wraps. Ensure tail is in good position and wrap body fly back up to 2/3 of the way  towhere your thorax will start. Whip finish body fly at that spot. Wrap wire rib along the shell in 4 rib sections, then tie off the wire & helicopter off. Your position should now focus on the thorax area in front of the shellback . Dub in a sparse noodle of Black Ice Dub and wrap thorax with 3 or 4 wraps. Tie off dubbing loop, pull over pheasant to create the wingback and tie off. Ensure the pheasant is well secured. Whip finish twice and use Loctite, Krazy Glue or Sally Hansen to finish the head. If necessary gently brush your dubbing area to create a lively thorax.

Note: For fly durability I coat the thorax area and a 1 inch strip of the body fly with Sally Hansen before I dub to ensure the dubbing is securely fastened at the thorax area. You don’t have to do this but I like the durability aspect of this step.

Covert Nymph – Brown Town Mayfly

Covert Nymph - Brown Town Mayfly

Covert Nymph – Brown Town Mayfly | Materials List:

Hook: Alec Jackson Crystal Covert Nymph Hook | Size 13 or 15 (Available Sizes 9 – 17)
Tail & Shellback: Chocolate Brown dyed Pheasant Tail (or Natural)
Rib: Small Silver Ultrawire
Thorax: Simi Seal in Canadian Brown (dubbed sparse)
Body &Tying Material: Textreme Brown Body Fly

Covert Nymph – Brown Town Mayfly | Tying Instructions:

Tied just like the Jack Sparrow mayfly … 😉

Covert Nymph – Dirty Olive Oil Mayfly

Covert Nymph - Dirty Olive Oil

Once you have tied a few of the above patterns, why not try blending two colours of Body Fly to create this buggy dirty olive colour?

Covert Nymph – Dirty Olive Oil Mayfly | Materials List:

Hook: Alec Jackson Crystal Covert Nymph Hook | Size 13 or 15 (Available Sizes 9 – 17)
Tail & Shellback: Natural Pheasant Tail
Rib: Small Olive Ultrawire
Thorax: dubbing blend 1/3 pale olive rabbit, 1/3 moss green rabbit, 1/3 dark olive ice dub.
Body & Tying Material: Green Body Fly with a section of Brown Body Fly for blending.

* … I used this colour blend for leeches, damsels and small nymphs so blend up a bunch for use with other patterns! 😉

Covert Nymph – Dirty Olive Oil Mayfly |Blending/Tying Notes:

For this fly I just did layers of green and brown to develop a dirty green colour and tied off the brown chunk after I was happy with the blend colour. I stayed on the “Green” side of dirty olive, using more green than brown with my blend. There are probably some innovative ways to blend colours that I will explore further, but the above method worked just fine to get a blend.

Covert Nymph – Dirty Olive Oil Mayfly | Tying Instructions:

Aside from the blending method (see above), the Covert Nymph – Dirty Olive Oil Mayfly is tied the same as the other flies in the Covert Nymph Series.

And just because a video’s worth a million words …….

That’s it folks! Enjoy playing around with the Covert Nymph fly series and exploring the possibilities of Textreme Body Fly in a variety of fly patterns. I know I will be!

… Blasty

*** for more, proven effective BC stillwater fly fishing patterns be sure to check out all of flies on our BCs best fly patterns index page!

*** if you’re interested in custom tied, time tested & proven effective BC Interior fly patterns but would rather buy em than tie em, please check out our store!

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About Blasty

Long time resident of Kamloops, Clint first picked up a fly rod around 1980 and has been fly fishing ever since. He started fly tying in the early 1990’s and has been honing his skills since then. Now retired, you can find him on the local lakes in his 10 foot Flymaster boat with his Chocolate Lab Hawkeye.
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