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Steve Burke's Salmon and Steelhead Fly-Tying Guide
Leon's Wood Pigeon Nymph and Downy Wood Pigeon Nymph
Originated and Tied By Leon Guthrie

Leon's Wood Pigeon NymphLeon's Downy Wood Pigeon Nymph
Name Leon's Wood Pigeon Nymph and Downy Wood Pigeon Nymph
Category Salmon and Trout Species
HookKamasan B800 Trout Classic Lure Extra Long, Size 10
BodyThese are best preferably weighted heavy, depending on the version and you do not need to be to fussy or particular when applying the base material of the Back Feathers. The back feathers of the Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) contain gray tips and downy feathers. These are the only feather material for this pattern. You only need to pre-weight the patterns with lead wire and or lead wire together with a Gold Bead Head, and first neatly cover the lead wire with gray thread. Apply only the gray tips of the wood pigeons back feathers as the tail, followed by attaching gold oval ribbing for later stage. Now use your gray thread and attach clumps of gray tips of the feathers on the hook shank body and mix with clumps of the downy feathers. Build up the thorax area with your gray thread after having winding on the gold ribbing. Use more downy Material for the Downy Wood Pigeon Nymph in the wing and also use pheasant tail fibers for the tail and legs. Can be tied with or without ribbing. The important thing is using the downy material and gray coloration to produce the sleek, slimy looking pattern when this is wet.
CommentsWhen I researched into the stomach contents of both Salmon and Trout I noted that a lot of gray colored nymphs where found. I concluded that the possibility of the nymphs being semi-digested gave the coloration, but maybe it was also Nymph Shucks (The used cases in which the Nymphs shed their outer skin case). Perhaps they are a source of protein. Although a general rule is that Salmon do not feed when returning to river to spawn, in my opinion even in human nature dictates that we all like taking snacks during the day. Perhaps that's why there are so many of these tiny snacks in their stomach. Who wants to gulp down a large meal all day!

If you are skeptical that Salmon can be taken on a nymph, just look at the success of Jim Teeney's "Teeny Nymph". This pattern, originated and tied by Leon Guthrie of Galashiels, Scotland is similar in style and shape to the those patterns, but with different materials. You can see more of Leon's originals at The Flies of Leon Guthrie.