Shafer’s 3-D Nymph |
By Jason Akl
One of the hottest nymph fly patterns on the market to date, Shafer’s 3-D nymph combines realism with proven attractor materials to create a fly that just flat out catches fish. Originated by Dave Shafer as a Green Drake nymph for use on the McCloud and Upper Sacramento rivers, the 3-D nymph has become a trout favorite all around the globe. The 3-D nymph can be tied in a wide variety of colors and sizes to represent all the major stonefly species. The 3-D nymph patterns in sizes 12-16 are useful for imitating the late summer stone species such as (Perlidae Agnetina and Perlidae Perlinella) which usually are present in small sizes and light colors. This fly can also be tied in the larger sizes such as 6-10, which imitate stones flies from the genus Pteronarcys. These stoneflies are unusually large and have a black to dark brown coloration. The Pteronarcys stones hatch anywhere from April to March making the large sized 3-D nymph a definite target for steelhead on their spring move up rivers.
To fish this fly a drag free drift is critical to your success. Early spring steelhead are notorious for being easily spooked and even the slightest bit of drag will set them off running. If fishing this fly in spring scaling down and lengthening your leader will help you get significantly more strikes. If you are planning on fishing this fly in summer adding a few timely strips of line near the end of the drift will bring the rubber legs to life, driving the rainbows wild. A good idea is to use short casts and to keep your rod high while drifting this nymph (high-stick nymphing technique) to aid in detecting strikes on these small 3-D summer stone patterns.