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Black Gold-Head Nymph
Text an photos by Luca Montanari

When I decide to approach a river to do some fishing using nymphs, I often prefer to start making my first casts with a Gold-Head. The alluring qualities of this artificial are probably better than any other fly we can find on the market, and very few fish can resist the manner of a Gold-Head that is swimming in front of their snout. The only limit this kind of nymph has is represented by the ability of trout and grayling to recognise it, once they have had the misfortune of testing its real consistency. Hence, fishing in very crowded places, especially in "catch-and-release-regulated" rivers, it is important to understand quite soon if the fish can be deceived by a fly with a golden ball on its head.

There are numerous models of Gold-Head and the differences between them are represented by the position of the small metallic ball on the hook shank, or by the variety or colours of the materials used. A Black Gold-Head dressing that I consider very interesting for its effectiveness in catching rainbow trout in the reservoirs is a fly which has the abdomen made with the black seal fur and the thorax with a mix of deer and hare fur.

Materials List:

    Hook:   Partridge mod. E1A size 16 to 12 .

    Thread:   Black.

    Head:   A small metallic golden ball.

    Abdomen:   Black seal fur (or substitute).

    Ribbing:   Fine oval silver tinsel.

    Thorax:  Deer hair.

Tying Instructions:

1. The first step of the building process of a Black Gold-Head involves the introduction of a small metallic golden ball on the hook shank, which is then brought close to the hook eye. it must be of appropriate dimension to the hook we are using, in order to give a proportionate shape to the fly

2. Mount the hook in the vice jaw and tie in a short piece of fine oval silver tinsel with the black thread, fixing it close to the bend of the hook.

3. Wax a stretch of thread and apply to it a pinch of black seal fur (or substitute), to make a compact dubbing. The dubbing is then used to form the fly abdomen along the rear half of the hook shank.

4. Wind open turns of the fine tinsel over the body, to form the ribbing of the nymph.

5. Now wax a new stretch of thread and make a second dubbing, using this time a mix of deer and hare fur.

6. Make the dubbing compact and then repeatedly pass it around the hook section interposed between the abdomen and the small golden ball, creating a gauzy thorax.

7. The fly can now be finished with a whip-finish behind the small golden sphere.

8. I complete the Black Gold-Head by applying a drop of clear varnish around the rear part of the small ball, so that it reaches the thread knots and renders the whole fly more durable.

Fishing the Black Gold-Head Nymph

Using the Black Gold-Head in the reservoirs, we can load our rod with a floating line armed with a long leader, that ends with a very fine tip in order to help the nymph to sink quickly. My fishing strategy consists in making a long cast and then retrieve the line quite fast, making some stops to let the fly move in, then up and down. This makes it appear very attractive to the fish. ~ Luca Montanari

Credits: This fly is from a collection of flies produced for the Partridge of Redditch Limited website. We thank them for use permission.

The Black Gold-Head is one of the 86 flies described in Luca's recent book entitled Flies - Mosche da pesca. To get more information about it click HERE, or send an e-mail to . Although it's written in Italian, it should be interesting to many fly tiers due to the many excellent photographs.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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