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How to Tie a Sulphur Perdigon

Producer: Tim Flagler

Perdigon-style nymphs are a great way to get down to where the fish are quickly and with minimal downstream drag. This particular Perdigon is designed to imitate a sulphur nymph, which are just now becoming active here in the Northeast prior to the hatch.

For a hook, I’m going to use a size 14 Lightning Strike JF2 barbless jig hook. I’ll pair this with a 7/64” slotted Tungsten bead in gold. Insert the hook point into the small hole of the bead and work the bead around the hook bend and up onto the shank. You can then get the assembly firmly secured in the jaws of your tying vise, with the bead correctly oriented in back of the hook eye.

.02 lead-free wire adds weight, helps stabilize the bead and provides some taper to the body of the fly. While holding the bitter end of the wire in the fingertips of your left hand, make 5 or 6 touching wraps up the hook shank with your right. Then helicopter the wire to break it off close. Leave some space between the wire and the bead. A small drop of super glue, here Fly Tyer’s Z-ment, applied to the hook shank behind the bead will keep the wire wraps locked into place, once pushed forward and held for a couple of seconds. It also lets you tuck in that pesky tail end of wire without all the wraps spinning around the hook shank.

For thread, I’ve loaded a bobbin with a spool of yellow UTC 70 Denier. Get your thread started on the hook shank behind the wire wraps and take a few wraps rearward before snipping off the tag. Continue taking thread wraps, first forward over top of the wire wraps and then back, to really lock them down. End with your tying thread at about the hook point.

Separate out 8-10 fibers from a single wood duck flank feather and, while keeping the tips of the fibers aligned, snip them free from the stem. Hold the fibers in the fingertips of your right hand and measure to form a tail a hook shank in length then transfer that measurement rearward to the start of the bend. Use wraps of tying thread to firmly anchor the wood duck to the top of the hook shank all the way back to the bend. Position your thread forward to behind the wire wraps.

Small-sized gold Ultra wire is used to rib and segment the fly, a 6” length will make numerous flies. Butt the end of the wire against the wire wraps and take wraps of tying thread to secure it, all the way to the base of the tail. Then, once again, wrap forward to the wire.

Golden brown Antron yarn is used to add additional color and a little shimmer to the body of the fly. Here again, a 6” length is enough for numerous flies. Work out any of the little kinks in the piece of yarn then separate it into two equal lengths. Set one of the lengths aside for later use then snip one end of the other length off square. Lay this end on top of the hook shank and take thread wraps to secure it all the way back to the base of the tail.

Start taking thread wraps to build up a nicely tapered, yellow underbody on the fly. You can then begin making almost open spiral wraps with the Antron yarn up the hook shank, over top of the yellow thread. Doing this results in a rather lifelike look. When you reach the bead, use your tying thread to anchor the Antron then snip the excess yarn off close. Wet one end of the yarn and get it secured in a pair of hackle pliers so it can be used on another fly.

Get hold of the gold wire and make open spiral wraps with it up the body to rib and segment the fly. At the back edge of the bead, secure the wire with tight turns of tying thread then helicopter to break the excess wire off close. Take additional wraps of tying thread to build up a short, yellow hot spot collar behind the bead. You can then whip finish, seat the knot well and snip or cut your tying thread free.

Black UV cure resin is used to produce a small, black wing case on the fly. I like it to start on the front edge of the body, go over the hot spot and then out on top of the bead. When you’re happy with its size and shape, give the wing case a healthy shot of UV light to cure the resin.

Now, reach for a low-viscosity UV cure resin, here, Solarez Bone Dry. It’s not a whole lot thicker than water. Apply a nice thin coat to the entire body of the fly, even up and over the wing case. The idea is to not build too much bulk while at the same time smoothing out the surface of the fly. Doing this will keep drag to a minimum as the fly drops through the water column. Finally give everything an ample shot of UV light to cure the resin to a shiny, tack-free finish.

My intent with this pattern was to create a fly that has the functionality of a Perdigon yet still incorporates some of the lifelike characteristics that help it to imitate a natural sulphur nymph.

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