The Montana Nymph

by Jonathan

This was originally an American pattern which became popular in the UK in the early 1990’s for reservoirs and stillwaters. It has now become a very popular fly which features in most fly boxes.

The American original was dressed as an imitation of the larva of the stonefly in the rivers in the Montana region and was dressed on long shank hooks sizes 6…10.

Over the years in the UK the pattern has been slightly modified and whilst called a nymph it is usually fished as a lure. The thorax is tied with chenille in fluorescent yellow, green or red and the most popular size is a long shank 10. I modify my version slightly. I tie in a bunch of black cock hackle fibres for the tail and for the wing case I use Sparton ‘new body czech’ which is more durable and adds a little sparkle. You can also use black nylon wool which is not as fragile as chenille which our American cousins favour.

I think you will find this one quite easy to tie and it will be a good addition to your fly box.

This series of video clips is down to the enthusiasm of my younger son Jonathan. He not only does the camera work but he keeps me focussed on my commentaries and does all the work on the web site. I have the easy part tying the flies.

We will endeavour to comply with your requests but please accept that I have had no experience with salt water flies. I am in my seventies and this old dog is not too keen to learn new tricks. However just remember whatever you tie the principles are the same only the materials are different.


  • Hook long shank 6 / 8 /10
  • Tail black cock hackle fibres
  • Body black chenille
  • Thorax flourescent chenille – green / orange / red
  • Wing case black wool
  • Dyed black hackle
  • Tying silk black


Happy Fishing
Dave Cammiss and The Team.


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

SJEP September 23, 2010 at 11:37 am

quick thought on wax, just be sure that the red wax you are using does not alter the colour of the thread too much and also that it does not leave a distinctive or chemical smell as fly tyers wax is normally bees wax based and preety neutral smelling. Also dont over wax as this can make the fibres matted and lose that nice buggy translucence. As for products for purchase,Steve parton is with an O not an A. I would however contact Chris at the excellent Lathkill Tackle, i think its he is a fly tying specialist shop his prices are very good and if you phone him he will answer any questions you have and advise you on products. I have called Chris at 1900 hrs and he still answers the phone Lathkill Tackle and i have never known anything be too much trouble for him so give him a go. ( Phone him, dont buy online as he can do a better price on some items over the phone). Tight Lines and all that.

Peter Bowles September 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Hello David,
I’ve been delighted to find your web pages, particularly because the fly tying club I’ve attended over the past winter is leaking instructors and is a 38 mile return trip. I have decided to set up my equipment in my motorhome and make my way through your courses instead. It’s a perfect venue where I can spread around, have great lighting and music if I wish, plus I am out of earshot for yet more indoor tasks! Also, I can work at my own pace.

Watching your Montana demo, I would like to ask you for more detail on what you used for the wing case.I searched for Steve Parton and arrived at a site called Sparton Synthetics. Is this correct? I couldn’t find Czech Nymph as a product and am unsure of what is what since there are no pictures. An ebay link had pictures but not of Czech Nymph and I’m not fully convinced it is the correct site anyway.

Whilst commenting, this might be of interest. During tying of the GRHE, I was stimulated by the way you stressed thorough waxing of the thread prior to applying dubbing. A penny dropped and I sought out my old wax box from cross country skiing. The soft waxes for warmer conditions are ideal for this purpose. I used a wide temperature range red wax which is very sticky and grabs the dubbing beautifully.

Roy August 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm

hi david i am 15 teen years old and have just started fly tying two days ago and i have watch sevral of your videos on u tube and they are great you have really help me and i have tyied 8 flies. but i find it hard to hackle as the feather sits on its side and wont go roung the hook without turning any advice on how to solve this and any advice on fly tying and what flies i should be tying?

Bob Smith August 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Hello Dave,
Thanks for the advice and I will keep you posted with my endeavors.
Kind regards Bob…

David Cammiss August 3, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Hi Bob
Thanks for your e-mail. I do hope that you take up fly fishing. It can be a rewarding hobby that will have you tearing your hair out one day and glowing with delight another day. I would advise you to have some initial instructor when you start, ie. that is before you start getting into bad habits that seem impossible to shake off. When you buy your first rod buy it from a reputable tackle dealer who will put you right on matching line and reel to rod. Tell them what kind of fly fishing you want to start with …stillwater/reservoir or river. A balanced outfit makes all the difference between it being a pleasure or an ordeal.I would not recommend getting your first oufit off the internet. If there is alocal fly fishing club nearby join it . Most fly fishers will gladly help you get started.
Once you have achieved a level of competence at casting and have had a few trout or grayling then you can consider tying your own flies…….more than a pleasure in its own right.
Let me know how you get on
Happy Fishing
DaveC and the Team

Bob Smith August 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Hello Dave,
I am not as yet a fly fisherman nor am I a fly tier, but having watched your videos I have to say what a great set of videos to promote this art of yours and that of fly fishing. I would like some advice from you , and that is along the line of where to start. Do you think it best to learn to cast first with the aid of some lessons and then start to try a tie my own flies as a second string to this sport of fly fishing? I have absolutely no idea of how or what to do, all I know is that I find the whole art of fly fishing fascinating. So any help would be much appreciated.
Regards Bob…

David Cammiss April 4, 2009 at 8:37 am

Hi Roberto
Thanks for your response. I think it is unlikely that my wife would let me, as a 72yr.old geriatric, fly to Chile. Much as I would like to.
Dave C.

Roberto Reino April 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Anytime you’re around Chile let me know and I can refer you to my contacts at T. del F.
Keep going !

David Cammiss April 3, 2009 at 9:09 am

Hi Roberto
Thanks for your comment
Good to know that you were willing to give all the alternatives a go and had success….brilliant.
I read about Tierra del Fuego and just wish I had the legs to get over there and give it a go.
Well done
DaveC.and the Team

Roberto Reino April 2, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Hi Dave. It’s me again. Tied this pattern in green, brown & black and made my day once at Tierra del Fuego fishing the biggest brown trout I could get. Nice job & Thxs.


topflyman November 18, 2008 at 10:06 am

Hi Gerald
Thanks for your comments…….we do try to please. I have only ventured out of the UK once to fish and that was to New Zealand this year, a memorable trip. In the USA you have all these bass and other fish that take fly it makes me feel envious. The minkie is a good pattern for fry feeders. Mink strips can be obtained by discarded fur coats now that they are out of fashion due to the ban everything brigade. A friend of mine was out in USA several years ago and went to ‘junk sale’ bought a mink coat for $20 cut off the tails and gave the guy the coat back. He was not a happy badger when I told him he had kept the wrong bits. If you can acquire a tanned mink pelt cut it into strips 1/8 ins. wide. Cut from the leather side with a sharp blade with the pelt not coming into contact with the bench. You can buy them from a UK supplier already done. white,brown or grey code F-MINKY +col. price£2.99
In the UK when Adam was a lad we referred to all fly tying threads as silks. As an old codger I have just not got out of the habit, sorry to confuse.
Do try a babydoll pattern … might be surprised.
Hope this helps
Happy Fishing
DaveC. and the Team

Gerald Nilsen November 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Mr. Camiss,

Thank you very much for your very informative and well presented Website. I have been tying flies for about two years now and I have had some good success with flies that I have tied for Smallmouth Bass & Panfish. I do want to get into Trout fishing but will have to travel a bit to do that. I am extremely interested in the Minkie. Where is a good source to obtain the desired Mink Strips? Also, I see that you tie with Silk Tying Thread. Is there a reason for that?

topflyman November 3, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Hi Jean
Thank you for your comments. Good to have you aboard and hope that we can encourage you to fly fish.
Merci beaucou
Sorry my French is getting rusty.
Happy fishing
DaveC.and the team

Jean-Michel November 2, 2008 at 9:56 am

I am french and excuse my bad english.
Your videos are stunning. Thank you for your help. I am beginning to fish with flies.

Herve September 20, 2007 at 8:41 am

Quite clear, Dave, thank you. I’ve often wondered how to make a streamer swim “upside down”, so as to prevent it from getting stuck by weeds or whatever in the bottom of a lake. I guess this is the thing to do, then : put extra weight on the top of the hook. Or is there another method ?


topflyman September 19, 2007 at 10:38 pm

Hi Herve
Thanks for your response.
The reason for turning the fly upside down to tie in the lead wire is to lie the lenght of lead on the underside of the hook which keeps the fly swimming the right way up. If the extra weight was laid on the top of the hook it would swim upside down.
Hope I have made myself clear.
Dave C.

Herve September 19, 2007 at 12:43 pm


I do not quite understand why you turn your hook upside down at the beginning : is it because you do not start turning the lead wire immadiately arout the hook, but secure first a part of it to te hook without turning it ?
I what I’ve made myself clear – my english isn’t too good I’m afraid.

Congratulations again for your tying and your generosity. Thanks also to your sons (or other family members) for the music and the production. Professionnal quality, really.

Keep up the good work !

David Cammiss August 23, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Hi David,

All the flies to date have been nymphs which we use for fishing lakes and reservoirs. Mostly on floating line and slow retrieve. The diawl bach, montana and hares ear are all good river flies fished well down and very slowly. In the faster waters it sometimes pays to use tungsten beads to get the fly down.

Dave C.

David Berman August 22, 2007 at 4:38 am

Much thanks for sharing your passion and knowledge. I look forward to further installments! If at all possible, I’d love to hear / read your suggestions on fishing these flies.
Warm regards,

Garry Bailey August 14, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Hi again as I said at lesson one this is a refresher for me from 17 years ago when I was given lessons all four of them on how to Tye flies.
This has been an eye opener for me and the correct way to tie thanks to you and your team I will continue on with the lessons.
I tied this lure and never caught on it now I know why, it was doing the backstroke.
Great Website

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