Gaja's Special

Nymphs: Step-by-step fly tying instructions. 

Gaja's Special nymph - Fly tying instructions

Gaja's Special created by Fabrizio Gajardoni.

The origin of the name is clear! Gaja’s Special is one of my favorite nymphs for catching trout and grayling in fast water. I tied it the first time in 1996 and from the first test it has given me a lot of fun and impressive results. I still remember the first time I fished with my Gaja’s Special in Austria (Osterreich) on the deep water pools in the Mur River. I caught one massive brown trout and another really big rainbow that fought for a long time before finally breaking me off.

The size range is from #6 to #16, but typically the smaller sizes are very good for grayling. Trout tend to prefer the bigger sizes. I suggest you fish the bigger sizes upstream in fast and deep water where the heavier tungsten beads work very well, and then use the smaller sizes in clear and low water. The special material that makes this fly is the stem of a golden pheasant. The first time I had the stem it in my hands I looked really closely at it with a magnifying glass and I discovered the beautiful ribbing and colors! My mind starting working and I began to create a new nymph that eventually became the Gaja’s Special. The original fly was tied using a normal gold bead, but now with the beautiful Nymph-Head Heavy Metal tungsten bead I can now create a fly with realistic nymph eyes which are an overlooked, but very important feature. The materials for the Gaja’s Special are very common and the fly is very easy and fast to tie.

Fly tying materials

Hook: TMC 3761 # 6 to 14 or similar. 
Head: Gold Nymph-Head Heavy Metal™ tungsten bead.
Tail: Brown partridge.
Underbody: Wool.
Body: Golden Pheasant wing split stem.
Thorax: Mixed dubbing of natural hare’s hear with a little of white antron.
Thread: Tan 8/0.

Fly tying instructions

Step 1

Put the hook in the vice with the Gold Nymph-Head Heavy Metal tungsten bead. Color the eyes with a permanent marker, then seal them with a spot of clear finger nail polish or Sally Hansen’s Hard-As-Nails.

Step 2

Tie in a piece of wool and form a tapered body.

Step 3

Take some brown partridge fibers and tie in a tail.

Step 4

Select the Golden Pheasant wing feather. it’s very important that the feathers are not too old.

Step 5

The selected feather.

Step 6

Split the feather and crunch the stem with a flat pliers, then flatten again with finger nails.

Step 7

Tie the flattened quill close to the tail.

Step 8

Wrap the quill around the under-body, then tie off with the tying thread.

Step 9

Prepare the dubbing.

Step 10

Double the tying thread, then turn with a twister. Softly brush the dubbing.

Step 11

Wrap the dubbing forward to the bead taking care to pull back the fibers at every turn.

Step 12

Softly brush the thorax.

Step 13

You've now completed Gaja's Special. Enjoy!