Prince Nymph

prince nymph pattern with bead head and biot wing
prince nymph recipe


  • Hook: Wet Nymph #8-#16
  • Thread: Black 6/0
  • Body: Peacock Herl
  • Hackle: Hungarian Partridge
  • Rib: Copper Wire
  • Horns: White Goose Quills
  • Tail: Black or Brown Goose Quills
  • Optional: Gold, Copper or Brass Beadhead

Tying Instructions

  1. If you are tying the beadhead variety of this fly first you want to slip the bead on.
  2. Now attach your thread and tie in the tail quills. These are two black goose quills that are tied down in a V shaped fork.
  3. Now attach your copper wire a couple of peacock herls (the number varies with the size of the herl and the size of the hook).
  4. Wrap your thread to the eye or to the base of the beadhead.
  5. Now wrap your peacock herl forward, tie down and trim off the excess.
  6. Now wrap your thin copper wire forward.
  7. You may not be able to see the copper wire after it gets embedded in the fly. This is ok because the copper wire is really only there to help reinforce the peacock herl.
  8. Now tie in you piece of hackle. The hackle is meant to look something like that off of a soft hackle fly, it is not meant to stick straight out like a dry fly.
  9. Now attach the horns of the fly in a V shape the same was as the tail. Tie off for your finished fly.


The Bead Head Prince Nymph is an amazing fly. Year after year it is a top selling pattern in the country. The snow white goose biots set against the dark irridescence of peacock keeps the nymph brightly visible to trout as it drifts in and out of shadows. The heavy brass bead not only sinks the fly like a rock but gives it a three dimensional flash.

Why does this fly kick butt when so many other more realistic flies fail? There are as many theories as there are people who fish it. All agree; however, it is an indespensible pattern that makes its home in every guide’s flybox across the nation.

The Prince nymph is a popular fly for both rivers and lakes. It is a general searching pattern, resembling nothing in particular, but many things in general. The larger sizes can be used as stonefly nymph imitations.

How to Fish

In rivers, dead drift the fly near the bottom. In lakes, use an intermeditate line and a cast-and-retrieve presentation. When lake fishing, experiment with different retrieves until you find one that works well: slow and steady, slow pulls with a pause between pulls, short pulls of moderate speed.


The bead head is optional, but is usually a good idea. The traditional tie uses brown hackle, but CDC can be an effective substitute.

traditional prince nymph fly

bead head prince nymph right facing view

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