The Tellico Nymph

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The Tellico Nymph is a southern classic.

Named after the storied North Carolina river where it was proven to fool big browns, the Tellico Nymph is a southern as moonshine and just as effective. It’s a simple impressionistic fly that works in any size, although #10 is a favorite. Just because it’s a southern fly doesn’t mean it won’t catch fish on your home waters. In fact, showing your local fish something they’ve never seen might be a great idea.

Conner Jones is back to show you how to tie The Tellico Nymph.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “The Tellico Nymph

  1. Wow, what a trip! This is one of the very first flies I ever tied. My dad and I were just getting into fly fishing, and the Tellico was one of the recipes that was included in our first ‘Sunrise’ brand tying kit. We used empty Sucrets losenge tins to house our flies and we’d label the tins with the good ol’ DymoTape.
    I can see boxes of Tellicos, Zug Bugs, Halfbacks, Prince Nymphs….
    I remember it fooled Bow river fish in 1984, but it’s been years since I’ve even thought about the Tellico, and never really thought about where it originated or it’s history, until now.
    Locally sourced squirrel and pheasant with some yellow chenille.
    Head cement fumes and Van Halen’s ‘Hot for Teacher’.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Louis 🙂
    I’m sure I still have some of those 30 year old flies in Sucrets tins buried somewhere….

  2. No one is certain just WHO first tied the Tellico. The only record we have shows where it first was sold by a man named Peckinbaugn, of Chattanooga.

    It turns out, though, that it was a modification of the “McGinty.” Seems Northern anglers brought the bee-like McGinty with them, starting in the late 1800’s, having themselves borrowed it from the Irish.

    But no self-respecting Dixie boy was gonna use a Yankee bug – until they saw how well it worked!
    So they played with it and modified it into the now-standard Tellico.

    But, by the time it was first sold by Mr. Peckinbaug, it had become so common in Southern Appalachia that no one knew who gets credit for it.
    One thing is sure, he or she fished along the Tellico!

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