I’ve always been a fan of the Prince Nymph. It’s proven itself for me across the West since I was a kid. It’s a killer pattern in streams and it’s fooled its share of trout in lakes as well over the years. The first time I saw Lance Egan’s Prince Nymph-inspired Red Dart pattern, I knew it would prove to be a fish catching machine in much the same way as its predecessor. The Dart now comes in a variety of wacky colors and they all work at some point or another. I’ve always figured the Prince Nymph resembled a stonefly nymph more than anything, though it takes some artistic license in getting there. With the abundance of small yellow sally stoneflies I run into on rivers throughout the western states during the summer months, I figured a Yellow Dart might get some play as an imitation.
I fish the Yellow Dart often during July and August from the small streams flowing into the upper NF Nooksack to the Methow River and it’s become one of my more consistent nymph patterns when the rainbow and cutthroat don’t seem to be looking up. Like many of the flies I fish regularly, it’s both quick and easy to tie as well as quite durable. Let’s face it, most of us would rather be waist deep in cool water this time of year then sweating away behind the vise as a rushing fan struggles to comfort you and blows a jet stream of tying materials across the room.
Hook: #12 Hanak 400BL
Bead: 3.5mm Hanak Gold Slotted Tungsten
Thread: 70 Denier Red Ultra Thread
Tail: Red Saddle Hackle Fibers
Rib: Opalescent Sulky Thread/6x Mono
Body: Hot Yellow Ice Dub
Hackle: Brown CDC
Hot Spot: UV Pink Ice Dub
The Confluence Beer Pairing: As a creature of habit, I’m bound to quench my summer thirst with a light lager in the heat. Rainier, Coors Light and Modelo Especiale are typical go-to refreshments. A recent trip to Chicago, however, rekindled my affinity for Old Style. As far as I know, you won’t find it anywhere around these parts. I even threw a half rack in my checked bag to gift to a friend who is a midwestern transplant and we enjoyed a few with equal fervor. As a lifelong Washingtonian, I didn’t grow up with Old Style but if ever I was fortunate enough to stumble across it at Fred Meyer or Haggen, you’d better believe I would gladly pack a case for the next camping trip. Should you find yourself crushing smallies in Wisconsin or stalking giant carp on Lake Michigan, make sure you’ve secured an icy sixer of Old Style to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. It’s good stuff!