The French Nymph or Frenchie is a very quick fly to tie. It is often associated with other competition flies or guide flies for the short list materials list and quickness of tying. This fly is commonly used for European or “Tight Line” nymphing and is very heavy. I have tied this fly on a Hazard Fly Fishing H11 Jig hook with a 3.5mm Black Slotted Tungsten Bead (available here). This fly can of course be tied on a normal nymph hook with or without a bead head but the jig head has numerous advantages when European nymphing.
As I stated the Materials list is small.
Hook: Hazard FF Jig Hook (H11)
Bead: 3.5mm Tungsten Slotted
Thread: Dark Brown 140 Denier
Tail: Pheasant Tail
Ribbing: Copper Wire
Body: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: Pink UV Ice Dubbing
Hot Spot: Pink Flat Waxed Nylon
Step 1: Begin by inserting a slotted bead onto the hook. The slot should be facing the rear of the hook. Using dark brown thread tie on 4 fibers of pheasant feather for a tail and clip the tag ends.
Step 2: Tie in copper wire followed by 4 strands of pheasant tail for the body. (Pro Tip: Make sure to get fibers from the middle of the feather as these will be the longest, also note that one side of the feather will have longer fibers)
Step 3: Wind the pheasant fibers up the hook and secure. Do not worry if you do not reach the head of the fly with the fibers as the dubbing collar will hide this fact. (Pro Tip: If needed use hackle pliers when wrapping the fibers as they can begin to slip near the ends) Wind the copper wire forward in the opposite direction of the pheasant fibers. Secure and remove the tag.
Step 4: Dub your thread with Ice Dubbing and make a collar around the fly. Whip finish and clip the brown thread. Wrap and create a hot spot behind the bead head with hot pink thread, whip finish and clip.
That’s it! This is a fast, simple and effective fly with countless combinations to create new variations. So experiment with dubbing color, wire color, and hot spot for endless possibilities to find what works on your water.