Tying the Prince Nymph

The Prince Nymph: Step-by-step fly tying instructions

The modern Prince Nymph (aka the Forked Tail Nymph) was popularized by western angler Doug Prince for whom it was subsequently named and is one of trout angling's most widely recognized fly patterns and one of the most consistently effective too! Every fly box should have a one!

The Nymph-Head variation of the Prince Nymph is tied in the standard way, but replaces the traditional gold bead with either a green bead (to match the peacock body) or black bead for a darker, small stonefly imitation. It also uses a black-nickel color Kona nymph hook.


Bead:                           Nymph-Head FlyColor (28mm or 24mm) in Green or Black

Hook:                           Kona NS2 #14 nymph

Wire Lead:                   Standard lead-free

Thread:                        Brown or black

Ribbing:                       Gold wire

Wing cases & Tails     Goose biots, brown and white

Abdomen                     Long strung peacock herls

Collar                           Hen feather, brown

Tying the Prince Nymph

Step 1: Fit a bead onto the hook and fit the hook onto your fly tying vise. Once installed securely, wind a dozen or so wraps of round-lead free wire neatly behind the bead as shown.

Step 2: With the bead and lead-wire wraps pushed neatly forward towards the hook eye, then start your tying thread by placing a nice, tight-wound jam knot just behind our weighted underbody.

Step 3: Create the Prince Nymph's brown forked tail, by carefully tying a pair of brown dyed goose biots, neatly at the fly's rear.

To ensure the correct proportions, pre-measure your goose biots before tying them in,  the tail equals about 1 or so times the length of the hook shank!

 Step 4: With the brown forked tail tied in, and the forward excess biot ends cleanly trimmed away; next tie in (at the fly's rear) the strand end of gold wire rib, followed immediately by 4 or 5 strands of long peacock herls, twisted around your tying thread for enhanced strength!

 Step 5: To create the body, carefully wrap the twisted rope of peacock herl forward to our bead, and neatly tie off the excess herls and trim. Then wind forward (in counter-wound fashion) the gold wire rib using tight drawn, evenly spaced turns. Once ribbed, then trim the excess wire neatly at the tie-off point.

 Step 6: To create the collar of the fly, tie in an appropriately sized webby brown-dyed hen neck feather neatly by the tip, just behind our bead. Then take 2 or 3 nice sparse turns with the hackle. Once wound, tie off the feather using a few well-placed thread wraps, then cleanly trim away the excess forward-protruding stem

Step 7: Create the signature white V-wing by positioning a pointed pair of bright white goose biots neatly atop our fly, and tie them carefully in place, neatly behind the bead using a few well-placed, tightly-drawn turns of thread.

Once tied, trim away the excess forward-protruding biots end, just forward of the thread wraps with a quick, careful snip or two of our scissors.

For correct proportions, the white goose biot v-wing should ideally measure about 1 or so times the length of the hook shank

 Step 8: With the white wing securely positioned and the forward-excess biot ends cleanly trimmed, finish the fly by tying whip knot placed just behind our bead. Once whipped, trim away the tying thread cleanly at its base, and end by applying a small dab of head cement around the thread wraps.

You've now completed the Nymph-Head variation of the Prince Nymph! Put it in your fly box and tie up some other color variations.