The Frenchie nymph is really little more than a Czech-nymphing variation on the classic Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph we’ve all got in our boxes. The use of Coq de Leon for the tail and the garish thorax set the Frenchie apart from its forbear, making it a bit more garish and exotic. (My Spanish friends object to the term “Coq de Leon,” by the way, insisting that it should be called Gallo de Leon; since Leon is in Spain, they argue, why use the French word for rooster, coq?) The fly is a favorite of competition anglers, such as George Daniel and Lance Egan (whose Rainbow Warrior we have featured before), because it gets to the bottom fast and is a great impressionistic imitator of many insects.
In this easy-to-follow video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions walks you through the steps to create an attractive Frenchie, and he offers a couple of excellent tips, such as spinning the bobbin to make the thread jump rearward on the first wrap. I also dig the way that he uses the wire to reverse the direction of the the thread wraps to keep the wire in place. Ingenious. So tie up a bunch of these in various colors, and see which work best on your local fish.
Hook: Standard nymph hook (here a Dai-Riki #60), size 14.
Bead: Gold tungsten bead, 7/64-inch.
Weight: .015 Lead-Free Round Wire.
Thread: Fluorescent pink, 70 denier or 8/0.
Tail: Coq de Leon fibers.
Rib: Gold Ultra Wire, brassie size.
Abdomen: Pheasant tail fibers.
Thorax: UV Pink Ice Dub.
Hot Spot: Fluorescent pink thread whip finishes.
Final adhesive: Head cement.
Note: Experiment with colors of thread, dubbing, and pheasant tail.