According to angler and fly tier Hunter Hoffler, the France Fly was developed years ago but got its name during practice for the 2012 World Youth Fly Fishing Championships in France. Folks were struggling to catch fish, but Hoffler put on this trusty pattern and landed 25 trout in an hour on the Lot River. That’ll give an angler confidence in a fly, for sure.
In this great video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions teaches you how to tie this simple fly. The hardest part is dealing with the small hook and slippery bead. Once you’ve got the assembly in the vise, it’s quite easy to finish the nymph. As you’ll see at the end, you can also tie this pattern in a variety of color combinations, using different materials. Experiment a little!
Hook: Barbless black nickel jig hook (here a Lightning Strike JF2), sizes 16 and 18.
Bead: Black nickel slotted tungsten bead, 3/32-inch.
Thread: Black, 6/0 or 70-denier.
Tails: Medium Pardo Coq de Leon fibers.
Abdomen: Black Stretch Tubing, micro.
Thorax: Dark hare’s mask dubbing.
Collar: Tying thread.
Adhesive: Head cement (here, Sally Hansen Hard-as-Nails).
Tools: Plunger-style hackle pliers, bodkin, whip-finish tool.
Note: Try tying in different color combinations or vary thorax material.