Published May 26. 2005 - 19 years ago
Updated or edited Jun 5. 2023

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.

The dark side

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.


Heavy nymphs

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.

Darth Vader Buzzer

Wire body

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.

Darth Vader Nymph
Pattern type: 
Martin Joergensen
A very simple, heavy nymph
Heavy wire nymph hook, size 8-12
Tying thread
Black 8/0
Body and ribbing
Black copper wire (Wapsi)
Wing case (optional)
Peacock herl
Black dubbing
Tying thread
Skill level/difficulty: 
Very easy
  1. Wrap 4-6 turns of heavy wire around the front part of the hook shank

  2. Cover the weight with tying thread
  3. Attach the copper wire behind the weight
  4. Wind the copper wire in tight turns to the bend of the hook and then a bit
  5. Return the copper wire in open turns to form a ribbing
  6. Tie off and cut
  7. Varnish the abdomen and weight (optional)
  8. Attach a few strands of peacock herl just in front of the copper wire, pointing to the rear of the fly
  9. Dub over the front part of the body
  10. Bend the herl over the thorax, tie down and trim
  11. Form a head, whip finish, cut thread and varnish

Have no fear for the dark side: go out and conqour the universe with Darth Vader variations - or at least the nearest trout water...

Fast runs


again another great ...

again another great fly, I use a fly thats similar called a lighting bug the pattern is a TMC 200R # 10-16, 6/0 thread black, black goose biot tail, black holo tinsel (med) body, black uni-wire rib, black thin skin wing case with black flashabou accent, black ice dubbing thorax, three to four turns of black hen hackle, you can add a black bead if you like or not, caught my largest trout of the season on a # 14 beadheaded version a 22" redband trout fom the chewaucan river in october 09, sometimes you need to visit the dark side,keep up the informantable arctile's and let the fur and feathers fly.

cuthroat Love this f...

cuthroat Love this fly

May the force be wit...

May the force be with you!


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