Barr’s Dragonfly Nymph Step-by-Step

Barr’s Dragonfly Nymph Step-by-Step:

Among my Christmas gifts this year was a copy of Barry Reynold’s “Carp on the Fly.” By far the best book I’ve read on the subject, I finished reading it in little more than a week and was left with a whole new perspective on carp fishing. Along the way, I book marked a number of pattern recipes included within its pages. Among them is today’s pattern: Barr’s Dragonfly Nymph.

While I was shocked to find no further reference to this pattern after a cursory google search, it appears to perhaps be a spinoff on John Barr’s better known damselfly pattern. The primary difference…the small 3x nymph hook utilized for the damselfly pattern is replaced by a 6x long streamer hook (#4-8).

As I had just such a pack of hooks lying around, I couldn’t help but give this pattern a try. With the Kisatchie Fly Fisher’s CENLA Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival only a few days off, it also proved a worthy addition to the carp box I planned on donating to their raffle.

Streamer Hook (6x Long; #8) 70 Denier (Olive)Materials Marabou (Black)
Materials SLF Dubbing (Dragonfly Dark)Materials SLF Dubbing (Dragonfly Dark)Materials Scud Back (Black or darkened with sharpie)
Materials Monofilament Tippet (4x)Materials Hen Hackle (Black) Bead Chain (Black; Small)

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Barr’s Dragonfly Nymph Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

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Tips and Tricks

  1. A necessary substituion – “Carp on the Fly” (published in 1997) references Olive Brown Scintilla dubbing for both the abdomen & thorax. Unfortunately, this dubbing was discontinued nearly 15-years ago. As such, I pivoted to Whitlock’s SLF dubbing a similar blend of synthetic fibers with just enough flash to adequately replace the original.
  2. Weight – One additional deviation of note is my use of bead chain eyes. The original recipe references mono eyes, but I went with the heavier option in hopes of getting the fly deeper, quicker. If you find the pattern is too heavy for your purposes, swap out the bead chain for mono and see if that helps.

Proof of Concept

No proof of concept yet, but check back as the weather warms and carp become more active. Until then…

Tight Lines!


Barr's Dragonfly Nymph Step-by-Step
Species Caught on the Barr’s Dragonfly Nymph to Date:

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2 thoughts on “Barr’s Dragonfly Nymph Step-by-Step

    1. Let me know how it works for you. I’m looking forward to testing it out as the weather warms. I am curious why I can’t find any other reference to it though. Perhaps it is in John Barr’s Barr Flies? I just don’t have a copy.

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