Tellico Nymph – Fly Tying Instructions

The first fly in my Great Smoky Mountain Series, the Tellico Nymph is one of the most popular fly patterns to come out of the region. The Tellico nymph has gone through several variations over the decades. It can be tied with or without a tail. The body can be yellow chenille or wool yarn, or even floss. The shellback can be peacock herl or even fibers of a turkey feather. However you tie it, the nymph is still a great fish catcher.

The fly is named after the Tellico River in eastern Tennessee. I actually fished the river several times as a kid growing up in the 1980s. This was before my fly fishing days so my memories are of dozens of fishermen standing on the bank with cans of corn and their spin fishing rods. And also eating the fried rainbow trout that night, that were no doubt swimming in a concrete pool at the hatchery two days earlier. Still, for a 14 year old kid in the south, these were good times.

Hook: Nymph #10-16
Thread: Black
Weight: 0.015 or 0.020 diameter
Tail: Golden pheasant tippets, or guinea or teal (optional)
Rib: Peacock herl
Body: Yellow chenille (or wool)
Hackle: Brown hen, tied as a throat

Author: Matt O