Raven NJ

Published Apr 11th 2011

It's simple, adjustable and deadly effective


Raven NJ

Simple things somehow often seem to work and this has also been the case for one of my absolute favorite salmon flies, the Raven NJ.

It's a rather new pattern that I made for fishing on the bigger rivers here in Iceland where I live. It was made with the classic river Lax i Adaldal in mind since the water is rather slow but also has small parts with faster water.
This fly was designed to be able to balance it according to the current by adjusting the body weight on the fly.
The fly is built around a Pro Tube System Flexi Tube 10/40mm and one or two body weights in 4mm. This Pro Tube System really gives the creative fly tier endless opportunities. The weight is added behind the wing instead of a conehead in front, and I think this gives a great balance. By adding a very thin layer of glue on the tube, the drop weights will run very tightly on the tube under the wing and you now have a fly where the weight can be adjusted to most fishing conditions.
The genius hook holder part of the Flexi Tube will prevent the weights from falling off just in case but also give a solid grip on the hook.

The rest of the fly is simple. A two sectioned wing of Arctic fox. Sometimes the upper wing is replaced with Raccoon to make the fly extra mobile. Between the wings is a hackle A little flash is added and -- on a good day -- a couple of Jungle Cock cheeks.
All the times I have made my Raven NJ, I have used a Sonic Disc in 6 or 8 mm, depending on the size of the fly. This gives a nice move into the wing and the strong red or sometimes green color of the disc gives a nice contrast. It resembles a reversed Red or Green Butt.


Step 1 - tube and weight - Start by adding a thin layer of glue on the 10/40 Flexi Tube. Let it dry and add on the drop weights.
Step 1 - tube and weight
Step 2 - first wing - Tie on the first wing, here black Arctic fox.
Step 2 - first wing
Step 3 - hackle - Add a black hackle. Marabou if you want it extra lively.
Step 3 - hackle
Step 4 - upper wing - Add the upper wing. Arctic Fox or Raccoon for a more mobile wing. Then add one straw of red flash on each side, and six black flash straws on the top of the wing.
Step 4 - upper wing
Step 5 - cone - Tie in Jungle Cock cheeks if desired. Then wrap it up, add an 8 mm Sonic Disc. Cut the tube and melt the end.
Step 5 - cone
Green version - Also try tying the fly with a green flash and a green Sonic Disc.
Green version

Raven NJ
TypeTube fly
Nils Jorgensen
Year of origin
Target species
Atlantic salmon (sea run)
Sea trout (sea run)
Steelhead (sea run)

Tube10/40 mm Pro Tube Flexi Tube
WeightsTwo 4mm drops
Tying threadMonofilament (or black 8/0)
UnderwingArctic fox, black
HackleBlack rooster or ostrich
OverwingArctic fox or Racoon, black
FlashRed sides and black on top
CheeksJungle Cock (optional)
Front disc/coneSonic Disc 8mm, red

The fly fishes great on classic down stream swings, it's really mobile even in calm water. The weight balance can be adjusted as already mentioned, and I recommend trying the Raven with all the weight in front for upstream fishing with fast stripping.
I have had many salmon on the small rivers on this technique.

Because of the great balance in this fly, it dives automatically with the head down after each strip and for some reason this really makes the salmon angry and they often hammer the dancing Raven NJ.


User comments
From: Nils Jorgensen · nj·at·ranga.dk  Link
Submitted May 2nd 2011

Hej Thomas

Thanks for the nice words!

The reason why I use monofilament thread, I guess its just a habit from when I did not know how to make a small head. I must admit that it is more difficult when securing. But there are some good sides of using it. Smaller heads, its so thin you can fit it in between materials without it being visible and thereby fix them better, strong surface but I also use a normal thread. So like I started, its just a habit from here.

Good luck with the Raven NJ! I just made some small ones with a blue Sonic Disc on and they are pretty cool.



From: Thomas · thomas.scharrer·at·gmail.com  Link
Submitted May 2nd 2011

Hi Nils,

This is a nice fly which I will definitely try this season in the Norwegian rivers. I have used the Pro Tube system a lot myself during the last tying-season and I really like it.

Just a question, what is the reason for using Monofilament as tying thread? I have the experience that this can be quite slippery stuff but since you are using it what is the advantage and how are you securing the head in the end... are you using normal head cement or maybe super glue etc with the Mono?


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