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Tying the France Fly | A Super-Versatile Euro Nymph

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

The France Fly is a relatively new pattern that has emerged from the world of competitive fly fishing within the past couple of years. It is a Euro-style nymph that incorporates synthetic materials into a thin profile for a fly that is super durable and has a really quick sink rate. For these reasons, the France fly has become a staple for those using contact nymphing techniques.

One of the awesome things about the France fly is that you can tie it in almost unlimited color variations! By mixing and matching various thread colors to different colors of stretch tubing, fly tiers can create some really unique looking bugs. One thing that I like to do is find a thread and stretch tubing combo to match the color scheme of the fly to my local streams. Another cool technique that I've seen (and only used a little) is incorporating in hot-spots that show through the stretch tubing. Because stretch tubing is hollow, you can also insert thin wire into the stretch tubing for a cool multi-dimensional segmented effect.

The Beer

With every Bugs n' Brews video I like to feature a different beer that I have while tying. There are few things more relaxing than enjoying a good brew on a Friday night while whipping up a couple of bugs! In this video I cracked open a beer from Logyard Brewing called "I Have A Camp Near There". Logyard Brewing is located in Kane, Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest.

Material List

Jig Hook - I like Lively Legz 320J in size 14 & 16

Thread - UTC 70d in various colors

Collar - SLF Squirrel Dubbing (or substitute)

Step-By-Step Instruction

Step 1

Place a jig hook in the vise with a slotted tungsten bead.

Step 2

Start your thread and wind it back to the rear of the hook. I don't typically build a thread dam behind the bead for this fly (we'll get to that later). When it comes to thread selection, feel free to mix and match to get the desired color when paired with the stretch tubing.

Step 3

Tie in your coq-de-leon tail, using just a couple fibers, and return your thread to just behind the bead.

Step 4

Place the end of your stretch tubing into the slot of your bead and capture it with a light wrap of thread. By placing the stretch tubing into the bead, it will ensure that your bead will stay in place without having to build a thread dam. Next apply a few tight wraps to really lock the stretch tubing in place.

Step 5

Wrap your thread back to where the bend of the hook starts. Note that as you start wrapping rearward, apply progressively more pressure on the stretch tubing to help create a taper. As more tension is applied, the diameter of the stretch tubing becomes thinner, thus giving the fly the desired "carrot" shape. Run your thread back up to the bead and whip finish.

Step 6

Next is to use touching wraps to advance the stretch tubing to the front of the hook. As with the previous step, remember that the pressure you apply to the stretch tubing controls your taper. Apply the most pressure at you start wrapping forward and progressively apply less pressure as you get closer to the bead.

Step 7

Tie off the stretch tubing with your thread with a few tight wraps.

Step 8

I like to give a whip finish here before snipping off the excess stretch tubing. Because so much pressure was applied to the stretch tubing, I feel that this helps to ensure that things don't come unraveled.

Step 9

Apply a sparse dubbing collar just behind the bead. I like to use SLF squirrel dubbing due to the spikey guard hairs that help to give this fly a nice buggy look.

Step 10

Whip finish and cut your thread free. Easy as that!

If you prefer video tutorials, check out our YouTube video on how to tie the France fly.

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