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There isn't a fisherman on the planet who won't ask "What are they hitting?" when first meeting another angler on the water.  In the Fly Box Porn series of articles, Fly Fish Ohio persuades some seriously talented fly fishers to give us a proper peek into their "confidence" boxes.  We'll show you ours if you show us yours!

Fly Box Porn  ─  Part Eight

Mike Schmidt of Angler's Choice Flies Shares His

Universal Nymph Box


Article and Photos by Mike Schmidt

When it comes to early season nymph fishing I find that a few extra is always better than too few.  With that as a motto I keep this box with me whether I am after trout, panfish, crappie, or anything else with fins that may be enticed.  There is a little bit of a lot of different critters in this assortment of nymphs, so I can tailor my approach to the water based on a wide assortment of weather conditions, water conditions, and location.  Many of the patterns are of western origin and have earned their place here as a valued addition through extensive fishing around the Midwest.  In addition to size difference I make sure to have a large variety in the amount of flash to help adjust to conditions.  One thing that is fairly constant in this box is that nearly everything has at least copper bead heads, if not tungsten; the intent of a nymph after all is of course to get down in the water column.  The other constant is that most every fly in the box is made of only a few materials and are a pretty quick tie…that removes some of the sting if they are lost.  Hopefully you see a few flies in here that will work well once added to your arsenal.


Tight lines;

Mike Schmidt

Angler's Choice Flies


Baetis Emerger

Hook: TMC 3769
Tail: Ostrich
Body: CDC dub with a pearl Krystal Flash rib
Shuck: white CDC
Head: Ice Dub

Baetis emerger pattern best used in stained water due to the extra flash.

BH Caddis

Hook: TMC 2487
Body: Synthetic rabbit dub
Head: Copper bead

Standard clear water caddis nymph imitation.
BH Serendipity

Hook: TMC 2487
Body: Twisted ZLon
Head: SLF dub behind copper bead

Quick tie caddis imitation, but a good nymph imitation in any condition.


Biot Nymph

Hook: TMC 3769
Tail: Phesant tail
Body: Turkey Biot
Body 2: SLF dub
Throat: Phesant tail
Case: Turkey Biot

Segmented body adds a bit of added realism for low/clear water conditions. Color and size can easily be changed t match the current local mayfly hatch.

Crystal Serendipity

Hook: TMC 2487
Body: Pearl Krystal flash
Case: Yearling Elk

Great attractor/emerger pattern, especially in caddis waters.


Hook: TMC 3769
Tail: Ostrich
Body: 2 colors SLF blend and copper ribbing
Case: pheasant tail
Throat: Hungarian Partridge

Wonderful all year imitation in water that has Hendricksons.

Lightning Bug

Hook: TMC 2487
Tail: Phesant tail
Body: Pearl Krystal Flash with a red copper rib
Collar: Rainbow dub
Head: Silver bead

Attractor pattern for fast and/or stained water.
NH Bumblenymph

Hook: TMC 2457
Body: SLF dub with appropriately spaced copper rib
Head: Nymph Head tungsten

Fast water search pattern.
Sheets Mr Clean

Hook: TMC 5262
Body: Squirrel dub with a Larva Lace rib
Case: White ZLon
Collar: Hungarian Partridge

Large nymph/emerger imitation best fished around drake season. Deadly on the swing.
Shop Vac

Hook: TMC 2487
Body: Twisted pheasant tail and copper ribbing
Case: White ZLon
Head: SLF Dub and gold bead head

Standard emerger search pattern.
Sparkle Maggot

Hook: TMC 2457
Body: Squirrel Brite dub
Head: Copper bead

Caddis or maggot imitation depending on the color dub that is used.
Taks GoTo Prince

Hook: TMC 3769
Tail: Phesant tail
Body: Ostrich Herl with Mirage flash rib
Throat: Partridge
Shuck: White ZLon
Head: Ice Dub behind copper bead

Easy to tie version of the classic search pattern Prince.


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