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Nymph size

2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 533
I was organizing my nymph box yesterday, and I realized that almost all of my nymphs (excluding midges) are either sizes 14, 16, or 18. Very few size 12's and nothing size 10 or larger except for a couple of stonefly/helgrammite patterns. Is this pretty typical for nymph boxes, or should I stock up on some larger flies? I'm mostly going for trout, so I figured the 14-18 size range would imitate the size of most actual bugs.

When would I want to use a size 10 or 12 nymph over a size 14 or 16? Would they just be useful when the water's high, or are there actually nymphs (other than stoneflies) that are naturally that big?

Posted on: 2013/2/20 20:36

Re: Nymph size

2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 2161
Sounds about right to me...I'm guessing 90% of my nymphs are 14-18. I have a few larger Stonefly patterns that I really only use for WW fishing, and there's a few Mayflies that have bigger nymphs...they're usually the bigger mayfly duns too...Green Drakes, Slate Drakes, March Browns, etc. I have a handful of 12's and some Green Drake nymphs that are probably 8's or 10's, but I find I don't ever really use them, as I'm usually just there for the dun/spinner fishing for those big hatches.

All that said, I'll often fish a size 14 BH Bugger essentially like a nymph, so maybe a larger, buggy looking nymph would serve as a decent searcher pattern?

Posted on: 2013/2/20 20:51

Re: Nymph size

2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 2161
Double Post

Posted on: 2013/2/20 20:55

Re: Nymph size

2012/8/21 18:22
Posts: 428
Yup, thats completely normal. The last time i checked i only have 5 nymphs larger than size 10. everything else is size 14-20

Posted on: 2013/2/20 21:25

Re: Nymph size

2011/3/2 13:43
From Gamehendge
Posts: 957
Sounds about right. I like the bigger sizes for winter an to use as the bomb in my tandem rigs. Some stoneflys are huge. Flipped over a rock in my local stream the other day an saw two yellow stoneflys that where all of a size 10. Also maybe some size 22,24 caddis an midge larve.

Posted on: 2013/2/20 21:54
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Re: Nymph size

2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1527
My go to is size 14. I would say you are better with going with smaller than bigger.

That being said I just caught 2 great fish this weekend on a size 8 stonefly, and had a rainbow about 16" take a size 6 stonefly in december. I would say depending on your style of fishing that nymphs from size 12-16 would cover everything. If you ever do a post mortum anaylasis on a trouts stomach contents you will see how much small nymphs they eat.

I think that the majority of you box should be small then taper down to larger flies. If you are euro/czech nymphing you may want a few larger flies to keep you on the bottom and to get there quickly. I am still experimenting with my anchor flies.

Posted on: 2013/2/25 14:07
"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process."

Re: Nymph size

2013/3/7 12:27
From Sintrul Pinnsiveenya
Posts: 520
A small fly will do anything a big bug can do but NOT vice versa! If I ever would enter a "one fly" contest, it would be a #18 Sawyer style Pheasant tail! JG

Posted on: 2013/3/16 23:29

Re: Nymph size

2009/7/28 19:49
From Shrewsbury, PA
Posts: 236
Most of the nymphs that I tie and fish are size 18 and smaller and the majority of them are 20 and smaller. I do have larger nymphs such as a weighted Frenchies and Tungstem Warriors as anchor flies.

The reason for using smaller nymphs is not only based on my success but if you think about it, most mayfly nymphs are only "large" for a few months throughout the year, mostly in spring and early summer. There are some exceptions. The rest of the time, they are small. The same thing goes for caddis but I can't comment on stoneflies as I don't fish them much.

Again, my comments are based on my success fishing many different types of streams in several eastern states during all seasons.

Posted on: 2013/3/17 11:44

Re: Nymph size

2010/1/28 14:17
From Abington
Posts: 675

JG63 wrote:
A small fly will do anything a big bug can do but NOT vice versa! If I ever would enter a "one fly" contest, it would be a #18 Sawyer style Pheasant tail! JG


If there was just one....that would be it. In bigger streams, maybe a #16.

Posted on: 2013/3/17 14:49
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