I’ve longed fished the Frenchie well before I knew that Lance Egan invented it. I recently watched his Modern Nymphing video and listened to a podcast that featured him. (I love doing research and making flies, and mid-winter is a great time to do both.)
Lance says in both that his Red Dart fly is increasingly becoming his nymph of choice. So, after doing some research, I tied a few up. When someone who has competed 10 years in a row at the World Championships says something, I want to listen.
This is an attractor fly, not meant to match any hatch. In fact, many competitive anglers no longer match the hatch. This fly in particular doesn’t look like anything real, but features a few strike triggers.
Here is the materials list.
Hook: Orvis Tactical Czech Nymph #16. I love these competition-style hooks. They’re barbless and sharp and also feature a slightly-upturned hook point for better holding power. Plus, they just look downright sexy
Thread: UTC 70 red
Tail: Red hackle fibers
Body: Peacock ice dub
Rib: 6x mono tippet
Thorax: Scud pink ice dub
Soft hackle: Hen feather, natural
Collar: Red thread