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First published November 24th 2003 - More than 11 years ago
The Prince and its Derivatives
By Mike Hogue
As far as I know the Prince was created by Edward Prince of Michigan. It is a pretty good pattern and has caught lots of fish for me. The pattern which basically represents nothing and everything is more less a cased caddis sort of pattern. It can be used as an Isyonica pattern for late summer and early fall fishing as well in the Northeast. Of late I have seen many patterns which are more or derived from this central pattern. By changing several things you can get some ideas how to refresh an old pattern.
The standard pattern for the prince is this:
9671 or 3906b size 10-16
The easiest thing to do to change this fly is add a bead. Okay, easy you say. Not so easy for nymph hooks. Usually to add beads on nymphs , take a pliers and bend the hook out about 10-15 degrees. I often grasp the hook between the bend and the point. If you yank too hard you will snap the hook. To bend back put it in your vise and push down hard on the hook shank. Remove and reinsert the hook to make it level again. Wow!
I add holographic tinsel to the for the rib and use ginger hen, for all my princes. I think that this lightens up the fly's appearance and makes it more attractive. The holographic tinsel adds some character to it also.
A good tip to do when making the fly is to run a bit of Zap a Gap down the back of the thread and then wind on the hurl, you must use a sparse amount of glue or the body will be very hard. Usually, I just touch it and run it down.
A common guide fly in Montana is to sub rubber legs/white for the biots. They often fold the legs in a v shape and tie in by the tail and the tie one on the top. Some folks sub in red thread to give it a bit more of a collar. The rubber legs allow you tie this a bit quicker.
One fly sold by Orvis for many years is the Rainbow Prince. This is combination of things which include: adding white round rubber legs for the tail and wing, substituting fox fire lite brite for the peacock hurl body. My wife ties this with a black bead in a size 8 and uses it for a stonefly, she also ties this in several other sizes as it is one of her favorite flies. The Lite Brite changes the fly and adds more sparkle to it.
A really hot fly this season in the Northwest is a Prince made using dark olive brown dubbing mixed with a green sparkle dub ( or Lite Brite), the fly is tied on a shrimp or scud hook and the tail is pheasant fibers. The hackle is tied as a beard instead of in the round. I'm not sure the name of this one, I guess it is the Prince emerger? I do know that some places they can't keep this on hand. It looks good to me, I may tie some to fish it this fall.
There you go, adding a little spice to several old ideas will add some interesting twists to an already good fly.A little flash and glamour get added to dress up something which already works pretty well..