Tying the Beadhead Prince Nymph

News & Tips: Tying the Beadhead Prince Nymph

The Beadhead Prince is a classic nymph pattern that will continue to be effective on streams and rivers for years to come. Created by Doug Prince, this special fly incorporates many flashy materials that fish just can't resist. The peacock herl used in the fly's body construction shimmers brightly when in the water, while the split tail and wing give the impression of a stonefly or mayfly nymph that has come free from the bottom.

The Prince Nymph is not tied to imitate any particular aquatic invertebrate that trout seek out, but rather play into the opportunistic behavior of fish not being able to pass up a helpless, tasty treat. The original Prince Nymph was tied without lead-free weight or a bead, but seeing as these two materials help to get the fly down to the fish's strike zone faster, it is always good to have flies tied in this fashion. It pays to carry several different sizes and varieties of this pattern in your fly box at all times. This is a very easy and inexpensive fly to tie and just might become your go-to fly when the bite gets tough.

Materials List

Hook Daiichi Nymph Hook, Size 12, 2X long
Thread Uni-Thread, Size 8/0 (Black)
Hackle Furnace Hackle
Tail Brown Goose Biots
Body Peacock Herl
Wing White Goose Biots
Rib Fine Gold Tinsel
Head Brass Bead


Step-by-Step Tying Instructions

Step 1

Slide the bead onto the hook (small hole first), sliding it up against the back of the hook eye.


Step 2

Secure the hook in the vice.


Step 3

On the hook shank, place several wraps of lead or lead-free wire, then slide it up into the back of the bored out bead head. Wrap this weight with the thread to hold the weight in place securely.


Step 4

Select two brown goose biots and tie them down to the top of the hook shank so that they extend off the back of the fly in a 'V' shape.


Step 5

Cut a small strip of gold wire, and then wrap it onto the hook so that it extends off the back of the fly.


Step 6

Select 4 bushy peacock herls and tie them down by their tips at the point above the hook barb. Twist these four herls so that they form a thick, bushy rope.


Step 7

Wrap the herl rope up the body of the fly, stopping behind the bead.


Step 8

Counter wrap the gold wire up the herl body you just created, cinching it in place.


Step 9

Tie in the furnace hackle behind the bead head by its tip.


Step 10

Take three turns of this hackle behind the bead and tie it off. With your fingers, lightly pull the hackle downward and back, and then wrap the collar of the fly with two turns of thread. (This will pull most of the hackle fibers to the bottom half of the fly and into a swept position.)


Step 11

Select two white goose biots and tie them on top of the fly body in a 'V' shape.


Step 12

Cut the tag ends of the biots and whip finish the thread. Cement the head thoroughly.

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