Guide’s Nymph Tying Tutorial

The Guide’s Nymph: a pattern that goes by many different names, can be tied in an infinite variation of colors and styles, and can represent any number of different aquatic insects. The number one great thing about this pattern is it’s ease to tie, depending on the chosen variation it generally takes about two minutes to whip up. It’s a fly that catches fish, and more importantly won’t hurt the soul too much after a client (or anybody, for that matter) loses a half dozen of ‘em to the river on a float.

In this tutorial I’ll be tying this pattern in a tan body and gold collar, which can be an excellent mid-summer color combo for a lot of western rivers. As well as this color, I’ve had some good luck with it in olive, brown, and purple.


Materials List:

Hook: Firehole 316 Competition Nymph/Emerger size 12

Bead: Waspi Cyclops bead Black Nickel size ⅛”

Wire: .20mm Lead Free Wire

Thread: Veevus 14/0 Tan

Tail: Partridge

Ribbing: Small Copper Wire

Collar: Golden Brown Ice dub


To start out, take wrap up five turns of your lead free wire and push that up underneath the bead as far as it’ll go. Next, start your thread and get that wire and bead securely pushed up to the front of the hook.


After this, take six to eight fibers of partridge and tie those in off the rear of the shank to create the tail. Those fibers should be roughly half the length of the shank. Once the partridge is wrapped as far back as you want it to be, then tie a length of your copper wire all the way back to the end of your thread wraps on the tail of the fly.



Next, build up your thread along the body so there is an even taper all the way from the tail to just behind the bead. I generally prefer to keep the bodies on this style of nymph thinner rather than not, however in the end that comes down to personal preference. Once the body is built up, take the copper wire and give it roughly five wraps forward. Tie that in right behind the bead.


Lastly, take a small amount of ice dub and create a collar right behind the bead. Approximately three wraps should do the trick, depending on how sparsely you dub the thread. Give it a couple half hitches in front of the ice dub, cut the thread and finish it off with a bit of UV resin.

That’s it, there’s your bug. A super simple, easy and reliable pattern that catches a lot of fish. It can be fished as a dropper underneath a dry fly, as well as one or both the patterns in a two fly nymph rig. It’s a great fly to have a big backstock of in the nymph box for those long summer days.