Pattern: Spring Wiggler
There are many Hex nymph versions this is the original version developed in Michigan in the early 1970s by Ron Spring of Muskegon., Michigan
Species: Great lakes trout, salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass
Imitates hexigenia limbata may fly found in mid west and western lakes and rivers. In a the cream body version and light brown hackle it can also imitate shrimp.
When to fish: Whenever you go to a great lakes river or any river that has this nymph species all times of the year.
Technique: Fished standard trout nymphing style, dead drifted with a sink tip line.
Thread: Black, tan, or olive
Hook: 36890 salmon or any strong nymph hook down or upeye. Tie weighted or unweighted
Tail: 4-5 pheasant tail fibers (natural, or dyed colors). Tie this on before the shell back. Tie the shell back over the tail feathers but in a longer length than the tail feathers.
Shell Back: 6-7 pheasant tail fibers (natural or dyed colors - such as olive or green). Note you can also use the traditional red squirrel tail for the tale and shellback. Pull the shell back fibers over the hook AFTER you have wound the body hackle forward.
Hackle: Tie in a saddle hackle, or emu feather of olive , brown, or tan over the shell back and tail fibers.
Body: dubbing or fine chenille - tan, yellow, cream, or chartreuse are my favorite colors. Trivia: My first steelhead was caught on chartreuse body wiggler. Wind the body material forward tie off at the head.
Then palmer the hackle forward from the tail and tie off and cut. Trim the hackle that is on top of the hook before you pull the shell back over otherwise you will get a scrunched look of your hackle. I don't think it makes a difference to the steelhead though)
Then pull the shell back forward and tie off at the head. I usually leave some of the shell back showing as a head of the wiggler nymph.
Optional place a small amount of brown or olive marabou at the front of fly on each side of the hook to imitate the Hex fly gills.
This is also fished in a bead head and cone head version using gold, brass, or tungsten.
Plastic or mono eyes can also be used at the head of the fly.
Make sure it is in your fly boxes !