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" Mini Hammerhead Booby Nymph"
By Davy Bullen - Edinburgh Scotland
Photos by James Birkholm


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Fly Tying Terms

Mini Hammnerhead Booby Nymph

The Booby Nymph was a creation devised by Gordon Fraser. I have read, however, that he wishes he hadn't invented the fly because of people fishing it stationary, as one would a Ledgered Worm.

Don't let the name mislead you - this fly is more of a Lure Attracter pattern than a Nymph and works best in all the flourescent bright colours under the sun. I have heard tale of people catching fish on drab nymphal-type patterns. I have even tried it myself, but with no success. Fishing correctly, I believe that this fly is a stroke of genius and will catch fish when nothing else will.

The fly shown here is just an example and works in the UK. Change tail colours, hook sizes, tail lengths (for maximum mobility) and even body materials to suit the tastes of your quarry. For example, try purple and pink for Steelheads, but keep them bright! Also you could stick various eyes on to the plastazote eyes to create small fish patterns.

Materials List:

Hooks:  Kamasan B170, size 12 (short shank, medium wire hook).

Thread:  Hot orange, size 6/0.

Tail:  White Maribou.

Body:  Flourescent Lime Green Estaz (micro).

Eye diameter:  6mm.

Eyes:   Yellow Plastazote.

Tying Instructions:


Step 1 - Making the eyes:

1.  Acquire a piece of metal tubing, such as a short section of a car aerial, parker pen or brass model tubing ( a car aerial is best as different diameters can be achieved).

2.  Take your piece of tubing (2 or 3 inches long) and insert it into a battery gun or drill. (This can be done manually but takes longer.)

3.  Lay a piece of emery paper on your bench and sharpen the tubing around the edge by rotating it over the emery paper at an angle of about 45 degrees.

4.  Remove tubing from gun and insert a pair of old scissors inside tube to remove the burr.

5.  Twist you new cutter into a block of plastazote to produce small tube-shaped eyes.


Tying Steps:
1.  Cut your eyes to length (on the pattern shown, about 12mm) and figure-eight them on to the hook as you would bead chain. Position the vice to point towards you to make things easier for yourself.


2.  Wind the thread to the bend of the hook and attach the tail, in this case about 1 inch long, and secure all the way up to the eye. Return your thread to the bend.


3.  Attach a piece of Estaz or Chenille and wind this up to the eyes and finish with a whip-finish.


Fishing the Fly:

This fly can be fished on Intermediate lines or stripped across the top like a Muddler, but it is most at home on a hi-density line (ultra fast sinking) with a short leader, i.e. 2 or 3 feet, inched across the bottom on a dead slow figure of eight retrieve.

It fishes best on British reservoirs and lochs for Rainbow trout. It is at it's most effective when the weather is either very hot or very cold, subsequently causing the fish to hit the bottom and skulk in the most comfortable layer of water.

When confronted with abnormal temperatures the fish are often lethargic and will not chase anything that's moving too fast. This is the beauty of the Booby.

Its limits are not confined to reservoir fishing. Apparently salmon are taken on the Booby. Again, the fly fishes deep and slow but overcomes the problem of snagging on a rocky bottom due to its bouyancy.

The fly does not always perform best with a slow figure of eight however. It can be deadly when given a rapid figure of eight and left for a second to return to its original plain in the water. One simply has to experiment with retrieves as there are too many variations jumping into my head at this minute to possibly list! Also experiment with line densities and leader lengths.

There are drawbacks using the Booby Nymph. Here in the UK the Booby Nymph is banned on every catch and release fishery for the simple reason that it is often sucked in deeply, resulting in badly, deeply-hooked fish. Even with barbless hooks the Booby would be difficult to remove without causing stress or damage to the fish - so be warned.

I asked my Chat Room friend Mike Connor, "Mike do you ever fish Boobies?" He replied, "Occassionally in stocked rainbow waters when I have newbies along and have to catch a couple of the bloody things. Works every time. The Boobies are deadly for stocked rainbows in still waters. You can fill a bucket in double-quick time. Not really my idea of fishing though. As a technique it is a bit boring really, but catches plenty of fish." ~ Dave Bullen


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