Practical Fly Tying

Guest Fly Dresser and Contributor

Half Back Nymph by Tony Downing

This is one of my favourite Sedge type flies. It can be used as a Nymph, Emerger or, if Ginked up, an out and out Dry Fly.

When the Sedges are on the water, i.e. Late evening, the catch rate for this fly can be unbelievable. It has caught many fish on all my l
The Dressing is :-

Hook, Partridge K12ST size 12 – 16.

Thread, brown uni 06.

Tail, red game cock hackle fibres.

Rib, fine silver wire.

Shellback, Cock pheasant centre tail fibres.

Body, Bronze Peacock herl.

Body hackle, Med red game cock.

Thorax, Peacock ICE dub, or similar.

Hackle, Red game cock.

Head, Tying thread varnished.

Instruction assumes a right-handed tier.

Set the hook in the vice and attach the thread behind the eye, continue in touching turns to half way along the shank, here tie in the tail fibres and the rib, then continue the thread to a point above the barb.


At this point, tie in 10 strands of cock pheasant centre tail fibres, and leave protruding over the tail.


Then in open turns, tie down the fibres to halfway along the shank, trim any waste, and at this point, tie in 3 strands of bronze Peacock herl and tie down to the bend and return the thread to halfway.


Twist the herl into a rope and wind along the shank up to the thread, tie off and trim waste. At this point, select, prepare and tie in a med red game cock hackle.


Then palmer the hackle along the body to the tail, pick up the rib and tie in the hackle with the rib, continue to wind the rib through the hackle up to the thread, tie off and trim waste. Now take your scissors, and using the tips of the blades cut the hackle fibres off the top of the body, then bring the centre tail fibres over the top and tie down, forming a shellback over the body. Tie off and trim waste.


Select and prepare another red game cock hackle, and tie in hard up to where the shellback is tied off. Lightly dub the thread with peacock ICE dub or similar, wind the dubbed thread toward the eye, remove any excess. Wind the hackle through the dubbing, Tie off, trim waste, form a small neat head, whip finish and trim thread, add a drop of varnish to the head. Your Halfback Nymph is complete.

Half Back nymph

You can leave the Hackle as a full collar, so the fly sits high on the water.


OR, you can trim the bottom centre out, making a V, it will now sit lower in the water


If you trim the hackle flat across the bottom, it makes the fly into an EMERGER. ALSO, if the fly sinks, do not worry, just fish it like a NYMPH

Have fun.


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