Tuesday, April 4, 2023

April 10th fly tying - Whitlock Fox Squirrel Nymph

KFF monthly fly tying session
Monday, April 10, 2023

Rapides Westside Library, 5416 Provine, Alexandria
Also livestreamed on Zoom and YouTube

For our April tying, Catch Cormier will lead us in tying a variation of the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph. Developed by Dave Whitlock in the late 60s, the RFSN is an impressionistic pattern that can represent caddis, mayfly nymphs, even small stonefly nymphs. There are countless variations of the original pattern - even Dave had a few variations. But the basic body structure and types of materials remain constant.  

In addition to tying the fly, Catch will share a few stories of his encounters with Dave Whitlock over a 30 year span.

As always, all materials other than thread will be provided, and we will have several sets of tools for any who do not have their own.  For thread, we recommend 6/0 thread in either orange, brown, rust or even red. Again, almost any color or size will work - fish don't mind!


  • Hook: #12 nymph hook (TMC 5262 or equivalent)
  • Tail: Fox Squirrel tail fur (or squirrel back fur)
  • Abdomen: squirrel/antron or SLF blend - light 
  • Thorax: squirrel/antron or SLF blend - dark
  • Collar: Mottled Partridge (we'll use Brahma Hen)
  • Weighted: 15 or 20 gauge lead wire
  • Rib: Gold tinsel or Oval

In this variation, we'll be using a Saber 7230 size 12, a black finish barbless hook.  Unlike the TMC 5262, this is a 1x long hook rather than 2x long.   Catch says this variation that has had great success for trout in north Arkansas as well as slightly more appeal to sunfish. 

As always, we broadcast the sessions via Zoom for those who cannot attend, and record the session on YouTube for future reference. If you would like to join the Zoom but do not have the Zoom numbers, please email Bill Morrison.  The recording will be posted to the Kisatchie Fly Fishers YouTube channel.