Fly and Photos by Loren Williams

What's the saying? Necessity is the mother of invention? This little bug fits in there somewhere. I had been searching my creative place for a very simple to tie, light colored nymph that offered just a bit of that "ooohhhh yyyeah!" look when wet. The typical light colored dubbings, quills, biots, and threads were just not doing what I had in my mind. I wanted sexy, not cute. Pressured fish see lots of cute!

So, one day I was perusing my local steelhead country fly shop (Whitakers for those of you locals) and I saw the tan STS Trilobal dubbing shown below. I figured "what the heck." I think the first run at this fly was more along the lines of a GRHE and once the fly got wet the ribbing slid right off the butt. But, the dubbing was almost exactly what I had envisioned! I was on to something! I did catch some trout, but they were stocked fish, really all I had available that fall. Not that I have anything against stocked fish, but I like my flies tested on pressured wild trout.

After a series of attempts at fixing the sliding rib I was turned on to the Sulky thread by a Team USA team mate. The stuff is super strong and it really allows me to pull the ribbing deeply against the dubbing. That, coupled with the thin, sexy flash completed this fly. Countless trout and many states later this fly is one of my top producers.

It is important to keep this fly on the sparsely dubbed side. The dubbing will lose it's sexiness if you glob it on. What seems to happen is that the water will get into the body and make it come alive, with a bit of the thread color bleeding out. I guess "gooey" is a good description.

It's a quick tie so wrap some up and try them out. I think you will approve!

Please Note: I have been receiving numerous emails asking how to obtain Siman dubbing products in the USA. Kevin Compton of Performance Flies carries the products (and much more); he can be reached at


Bead: Silver slotted tungsten
Hook: TMC 403 BLJ (#10-#16), Mustad R50X #18, TMC 2499SPBL #18
lead wire to match hook wire diameter
orange (or suit to underbody desire)
Tail: Pardo CdL

Rib: Opalescent Silver Metallic Sulky thread
sparse tan STS Trilobal dubbing
Thorax: S
iman UV bronze Peacock dubbing

Click photos to enlarge!

Place a beaded hook firmly in your vise.

Wrap about 8 turns of lead on the shank and slide the lead tightly against the bead.

Start your tying thread behind the lead to force it forward, wrap forward covering and securing the lead. Wrap to the read and near the bend.

Separate out about 10 pardo CdL fibers, keeping the tips even.

Remove the fibers with scissors and measure to be about 3/4 the length of the hook.

Tie the bundle in at the rear.

Secure the fibers forward and on top of the shank, this will help build a smooth underbody taper.

Clip the excess just shy of the lead wire.

Find your spool of Opalescent Sulky! (available at Performance Flies!)

Clip off a section and secure it to the far side of the hook, this is the proper position of counter-ribbing.

Build a nicely tapered under body with the orange 6/0 thread.  The thread will show through the sparse dubbing so take care to cover all of the hardware.

Locate your bag of tan STS Trilobal dubbing.

Stroke some tacky dubbing wax onto about 2-inches of your thread.

Select a healthy pinch of dubbing and pull it apart with your fingers to loosen the fibers, then collect it back into a loose bunch.  For flies smaller than #12 I like to chop it up a bit with my scissors.  Gently touch the dubbing to the thread allowing the wax to grab some fibers.  The application should very very sparse with the thread easily showing through as shown.


Wrap the dubbing from the tail to the bead.

Counter rib the Sulky forward in very tight open wraps. Pull hard enough to visibly sink the rib into the dubbing.  Secure the rib behind the bead and clip the excess.

Find your Siman synthetic UV bronze peacock dubbing (available from Performance Flies).

Apply a bit of dubbing to the thread as shown with the STS tan trilobal dubbing in the earlier steps.  Again, trim the fibers for smaller hooks and apply sparsely!

Wrap a small tight collar just behind the bead.

Rough it up a bit with Velcro if you desire, remove any unsightly fibers, and whip and clip!

The finished product!