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4/23/2014
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Email a Friend Grabbit Nymph
By Andy Burk

The Grabbit Nymph was originally created, as many flies are, from a very specific need. A friend of mine, who spends a good portion of his year in New Zealand, angling for the wily Brown and Rainbow Trout that swim in the gin clear waters, called me up one day. He asked if I could possibly tie him a really fast sinking, lively nymph that would, as he put it, “Get the fishes attention”.

“Your Aggravator Nymph works some of the time but I need something a little more compact and less intrusive looking” he told me. Give a fly-tier a problem and that fly-tier will try to come up with an answer.

I sat down at the bench that night and started working on the fly that would become the Grabbit. After a few fits and starts I thought maybe a reduced version of my Aggravator Nymph would be the answer. I hurriedly tied up a few of these and along with about four other designs, took them to the Post Office the next day, and sent them off to New Zealand. The fly didn’t have a name at this point and to tell the truth, I forgot about it until I got a call from the angler about a month later.

“ I need about three or four dozen of those flies you sent”.

“Which one”, I asked.

“The little short tailed thing that looked a bit like the Aggravator” he replied.

I quickly told him that was no problem and I would get right to work on them. “I need ‘em quick man, when I put it in front of the fish they grabbit” the angler excitedly told me. BAM!, an instant fly name!

Since then, this simple quick sinking nymph has caught Trout, Steelhead, Bass, Salmon, Carp and Panfish. I hope you’ll find it a useful addition to your fly box. Here’s how to tie it.

Grabbit Nymph
Step 1 Debarb the hook and slide the bead around the bend of the hook and then wrap on the lead wire and force the lead up into the countersunk area of the bead. Apply a drop of Dave’s Flexament to the lead and start the thread, creating a smooth underbody.
Grabbit Nymph
Step 2 Take your thread back to the area just over the barb of the hook and tie in a single strand of Pearl Krystal Flash. Once the Krystal Flash is tied in, wind it down the bend of the hook eight or ten turns and then back up the bend covering the first wraps of the material. Tie it off but don’t trim the Krystal Flash because we’ll use it for the ribbing. This double layer of Krystal Flash will create a flashy tag once you apply a single drop of Dave’s Flexament for extra durability and shine. Tie in a short tuft of Ginger Marabou to form the flies tail.
Grabbit Nymph
Step 3 Dub a short, buggy abdomen of Natural Hares Ear dubbing and rib it with four or five turns of Krystal Flash to form the rib.
Grabbit Nymph
Step 4 Dub an enlarged and buggy thorax. You can pick it out with a dubbing tool for an extra shaggy and buggy effect.
Grabbit Nymph
Step 5 Tie in a section of Dark Turkey Tail that you have pre-treated with Dave’s Flexament and create a Doubleback style wingcase.
Grabbit Nymph
Step 6 Dub a shaggy collar of Dark Natural Hares ear dubbing to form a collar directly behind the bead. Whip finish and cement and your Grabbit is complete and ready to catch fish.
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Click photos to enlarge
Grabbit Nymph
Products for this fly:
Tiemco TMC 3761 Hooks
Danville Thread, Pre-waxed
Counter Sunk Beads
Lead Wire, Spooled
Krystal Flash
Marabou Spey Hackle
Natural Rabbit
Turkey Tail Feathers, White Tipped
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