What Nymphs Should I Use?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog entitled New to Fly Fishing? What Flies Should I Use? It was my way of suggesting a dozen dry flies to start filling your fly box. And for full disclosure, they were a list of DRY flies.

Well, someone asked “what about NYMPHS”? Thanks for asking!

So I asked myself, “What flies couldn’t I live without”?

Well, here they are:

Nymph Box | www.johnkreft.com

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Recent Changes

OK, let’s see if I can get your attention…

Metolius River Rainbow

Metolius Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Nice rainbow, huh?

We’ve been catching fish on $3 Dip, RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple, Beetle Bailey, and an occasional Elk Hair Caddis.

Now that you’re paying attention, here are some recent changes you may have missed.

A few flies I’ve added to the Fly Patterns tab:

I continue to add fly pattern sheets. You’ll be seeing a few more nymphs in the near future.


  • I’ve added a link for a website called Animated Knots, a great video resource for how to tie knots.
  • Bob left a comment about using the Davy knot. Follow the link in Resources and check it out.
  • Updated my favorite Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books Learning from the Water by Rene Harrop and Montana’s Best Fishing Waters.

Check out the Popular Posts section on the right-hand sidebar. These are links to the most viewed blog posts. Be sure to read them if you’ve missed any.

If you are on Facebook, check out and LIKE my RiverKeeper Flies page. I’ve started a “Throw Back Thursday” post of older flies that were popular years ago and sometimes, but not always forgotten. The first two were a Tied Down Caddis and the Zug Bug.

Thanks for following RiverKeeper Flies!


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Hopper Fly Patterns

Yes, it’s that time of year. It’s time to pull out your hopper fly patterns and start fishing them.

What are your favorite patterns? 

My favorite hopper fly patterns have changed over the years as creative fly designers started using foam in their creations. I used to fish hoppers tied with deer hair and heavily dubbed bodies. For some reason, I had an aversion to using foam. Guess it was because it didn’t seem like a natural material. Well, if I look at my fly tying bench, I’ll find other non-natural materials as well. Like rubber legs, tinsels, flash-back. You get the idea. 

Here are the older flies I used to fish:

Daves Hopper

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My First Flies

Do you remember the first flies you used when you began fly fishing? I remember some of my first flies. Oh my, that was years ago!

Let’s see…there were the Woolly Worm, Zug Bug, and Hare’s Ear. Those are names I remember.

How about the flies in this picture? That must be my early attempt at an Adams fly. The other flies? I hesitate to venture a guess!

My Old Flies | www.johnkreft.com

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Lake Flies

One inch long and green. What?

Yup, if there’s any question about what lake flies to use, a friend of mine always says “Try something one inch long and green.”

Dennys Stillwater Nymph

Denny's Stillwater Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

I like simple flies for a variety of reasons, but even that recommendation is a little too simple for me. It’s like saying – just fish with an Adams.

Parachute Adams

Parachute Adams|www.johnkreft.com

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