Sunday Classic / Protect the Head of Your Nymphs with Thin Skin

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Finish the heads of your nymphs off with Thin Skin to add extra durability. Photo Louis Cahill

The more durable a fly, the more fish you can catch on it and the longer the life of the fly will be.

Making a point to tie and purchase your flies with durability in mind will save you time at the tying bench and keep a little extra cash in your wallet. Nymphs in general are the true work horses in our fly boxes. They don’t just get beat up by fish, they’re also constantly getting beat up from banging against rocks on the stream bed during our drifts. One way I increase the durability of my nymphs is to finish off the heads of my flies by folding over and super gluing down a piece of thin skin. This tying technique covers the vulnerable thread at the head of the fly and makes a nice looking nymph wing pad. In some cases, like with my rubber-leg copper john version shown above, I also use thin skin to hide the second bead on the fly pattern. I love using thin skin for many of my fly patterns and it comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Try it out if you aren’t familiar with using this fly tying material. It’s a must have if you ask me and you can tie a ton of flies with just one package of it. Be prepared to shop around if you’re looking for a specific color of thin skin. Retailers tend to carry only certain colors but never shy away from requesting them to order the colors you need.

Thin Skin Color Options


Thin Skin Fly Tying Examples

thin-skin-stonefly thin-skin-mayfly thin-skin-larva

(click on thumbnails for larger viewing)

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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