There was a posting on the Bulletin Board, in
the Fly Tying Section, asking for help on a nymph
fly pattern, the "Holy Grail." Hans Weilenmann
responded with the fly pattern recipe, and mentioned
it was a generic pattern - you can create many
different patterns from it.
I have seen fly pattern recipes that call for a metal
bead for the thorax, I just never have tried tying them
Hook: Scud hook.
Weight: Copper bead, forming the thorax.
Ribbing: Copper wire.
Abdomen: Hare's Ear, slender, either natural
color, or dyed olive, or dyed black.
Wingcase: Dark quill slip, over the bead.
Legs: Grey partridge.
1. Using a Mustad Nymph Hook C49S, size #10. Place a
5/32(4 mm) copper bead on the hook. Securing the hook
in the vise's jaws with the front portion of the hook
2. Using a previous Tying Tip column
Centering Beaded Head, build a large diameter head
of non-lead wire, behind the copper bead.
Since the copper bead is being used for the thorax,
the placement of the bead is spaced slightly behind
the eye of the hook. The placement will allow the
copper bead to be positioned on the hook shank,
leaving room in front of the bead for securing
the legs and wingcase.
3. Dressing the hook to the rear, add the ribbing,
and lightly dub the thread with rabbit fur.
4. Wind the dubbing forward, then wrap the ribbing
forward, securing both.
5. Attach the wingcase, secure with a half hitch,
and whip finish.
6. Lock wrap in front of copper bead, pull the
wingcase over the beaded thorax, and secure the
wingcase. Add the partridge hackle for the legs
then secure thread with a half-hitch and whip finish.
Beaded Thorax Flies are a very simple generic fly patterns,
and various pattern possibilities are endless. Below are
some variations on the "Holy Grail," using other materials.
Black Vinyl and Gold Cord
Red Vinyl and Copper Wire
If you use the new Mustad Signature Hooks, do not
throw away the plastic containers when they are
empty. I find the containers are terrific for
storage of my beads. The labels peel off cleanly
and the containers are compact and secure for
storing beads. ~ Parnelli
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to