Fly Life Magazine

At The Vise: Ruben Martin’s Prince Nymph

We don’t have high spring water here in North Georgia unless there’s a torrent of rain, which is unlikely. High, dirty water in the spring means snowpack melt and runoff. Here, it’s minimal as all rivers are at some point damned, and the outlets controlled Army Corps of Engineers and called tailwaters.

That’s both good and bad for obvious reasons – respectively tailwater ensures constant water temperature, but water releases can add inches or feet to a river – right now. The latter event can shut down the fishery for hours.

Ruben Martin’s Prince Nymph. Plays well on any court – Kamchatka to New Zealand and anywhere in between. Screenshot.

No matter what, like a programmed salmon, I pull out nymphing setups for early season trout fishing, always have, and probably always will. I fish Prince Nymphs no matter what; high water runoff or not. The prince is, of course, not a nymph of anything in particular. It’s like a Woolly Bugger. It could be a this, or it could be that. At least that’s what the “Fish Whisperers” says.

My tying falls into the McGuane belief that “Fish are suspicious of perfect imitations of the naturals.” I never have to worry about perfect anything tying because my imitations are imitations of imitations, sometimes bad imitations of imitations.

I tied a few prince’s last week that I thought would find those seams down under and give up big Chattahoochee River browns. It was not to be – unusually fast water proved my Prince Nymphs were not heavy enough – they were coming back empty.

Back to the drawing board the next day – off to Ruben Martin’s well organized website for a look at his Prince Nymph.

It was a typical Martin fly, looks good, ties without complication, the materials are not from another plant, and some substitutes work fine. Martin’s tying instructional, for this nymph, was a little more demanding than I prefer. I’m more inclined to sparse because of being constitutionally lazy, but I made the mental leap to be a trout and knew I would eat it.


Hook: Mustad 3906B, Rise 060, TMC 3761, Daichi 1560, TMC 2302

Thread: UTC 70, Danville 6/0, UNI 6/0, UNI 8/0

Weight: Lead tape or lead wire

Tail: Goose biots – dark brown

Body: Peacock herl

Rib: Oval tinsel gold or gold wire

Collar: Saddle neck or similar (brown)

Wings/horns: White goose biots

Like this Article? Share it!

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.