Video: How to Tie the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph

Dave Whitlock–legendary angler, tier, author, and artist–passed away on Thanksgiving night, but he left a remarkable legacy in this sport we love. Among his well known patterns is what he called the Red Fox Squirrel-Hair Nymph, of which he wrote, “If restricted to one fly pattern, I would have to say that my Red Fox Squirrel-Hair Nymph is the most consistently effective fly, both in numbers caught and size, that I use.” He went on to explain why:

The Red Fox Squirrel-Hair Nymph, in its pattern and form, is an impressionistic fly. This means that it looks alive, vulnerable and edible to fish without looking exactly like a specific creature. A trout, actively feeding or not, seldom ignores such a morsel swimming or drifting toward it.

In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions walks you through the steps for tying this effective nymph, which can be tied in a variety of colors and sizes. As usual, Tim’s process focuses on attaching all materials in such a way that they look great and don’t interfere with future steps. The fly is easy to tie once you see how Tim does it.

          Red Fox Squirrel Nymph
 2X-long nymph hook (here a Fulling Mill 5085), sizes 10-16.
          Thread: Orange or black, 70-denier or 8/0.
          Weight: Lead-free round wire, .015.
          Rib: Gold Oval French Tinsel, small.
          Tail: Natural fox squirrel fur.
          Abdomen: Red Fox Squirrel Abdomen SLF Dubbing.
          Thorax: Red Fox Squirrel Thorax SLF Dubbing.
          Collar: Speckled brown soft hackle hen saddle.
          Head: Tying thread.
          Adhesive: Head cement (here, Sally Hansen Hard-As-Nails).
          Tools: Angled tweezers and whip-finish tool.

One thought on “Video: How to Tie the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph”

  1. Tim, thanks for your thoughtful and informative tribute to Dave Whitlock. I briefly met him about a decade ago. I walked away with the impression that I was the most important person in his life for those ten minutes. He undoubtedly granted that same gift to countless others.

    I will follow your exact instructions to tie a few Red Box Squirrel Nymphs.

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