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Darth Vader Nymph
Black and deadly in appearence, the dark force of in the fly box - this is The Darth Vader Nymph. Get out your light sabres and put your old, scratched Star Wars video in the VCR, and tie some black nymphs.
Get out your light sabres and put your old, scratched Star Wars video in the VCR.
And no cheating now! DVD's not allowed.
I personally recommend episode V, actually the second film released in the series, but never mind.
The movie runs a couple of hours, and that should give you plenty time to tie a dozen or two of this simple pattern. You may want to adapt the TdF tying paradigm.
The Darth Vader Nymph is a generic nymph pattern, created with no particular animal in mind, but with the purpose of giving it a nymphy profile, making it sink readily and be easy to tie. Eventually it did wind up being very much like a black stonefly nymph due to the colour and the clearly segmented rear body.
Its main trait - apart from the striking name - is its colour and the black copper body with integrated ribbing. This high tech effect, which is the reason for the name of the fly, is obtained by using the same material to create both the underbody and the ribbing. The material is a particularly attractive black enamelled copper wire made by Wapsi.
The body not only looks great, but it also adds weight to the fly. The only drawbacks is the price of the product and the fragility of the wire. Add varnish or maybe even epoxy to reinforce it as you please. I personally prefer to tie a few more spare flies and save the varnishing step.
Apart from the wire, the pattern only calls for two other materials: black dubbing and peacock herl, and you know what? The herl could easily be omitted with no big loss to the effect of the fly. It's an extra step in the tying process, and even more brittle and vulnerable than the wire. But it does add some style, and as a fly tying friend of mine once said: flies with peacock herl always catch fish!
I am considering a replacement with Lureflash or a similar material in peacock like colours. That would produce the same effect, but be a lot more durable.
The fly sinks readily and can be fished as any nymph with or without a strike indicator. I prefer the Darth Vader in relatively large sizes not least because of its stonefly resemblance.
The stonefly is not the only natural that this nymph has potential to imitate. Dress is sparsely on a smaller hook and you have a generic, dark nymph. Cut all surplus material just leaving a slender thorax, maybe accentuated by a couple of orange dabs, and you have a heavy buzzer.
Have no fear for the dark side: go out and conqour the universe with Darth Vader variations - or at least the nearest trout water...