Nymphs and Wet Flies

I’m sure most of us are aware that certain fly patterns work extremely well on some rivers and not very well on others.  Hence, the idea behind this page and the dry-fly page is to create a list of patterns that are known to catch trout and grayling on the Cod Beck.
If members have a favorite fly that they regularly catch fish on when fishing the Cod Beck and are happy to share this information with other members then please send us a photograph of the fly. If you do not have a photo, send us an example of the fly and we will do it for you. Any flies sent can be returned, or raffled off during the AGM.

I’m going to start this article by telling you about a marvellous little nymph that was specifically designed for extracting the wily trout of the Cod Beck.  It’s called  “Becky” and was designed by Derek Stratton.
Many you will know Derek from his days as chairman of Sowerby AS and his tenure at the Thirsk Anglers Centre.  Derek’s nymph is pictured here .

"Becky" tied by Derek Stratton

“Becky” tied by Derek Stratton

If ever a nymph screamed”eat me” to a trout it’s this one. More details about tying this nymph and fishing it will appear on the “Becky” page. A humorous article about its inception was published in the Dalesman and you can read it by following this link.

Two flies no-one should be without are the classic Yorkshire Spiders, Partridge and Yellow plus Snipe and Purple.  I don’t know what it is about these two flies but time and time again they will catch fish on the Cod Beck. Trout and Grayling seem to love them.

Partridge and Yellow

Partridge and Yellow

Snipe and Purple

Snipe and Purple

How you fish them is up to you,  but usually these need to be fished upstream. Often as a team with perhaps a weighted Pheasant Tail nymph as the point fly.  Some use the spider as the point and fish it behind a weighted nymph.
The narrow width of the Cod Beck usually precludes fishing spiders across stream and current speed dead drift in the classic manner. However, fishing them downstream “on the swing”   will (perhaps surprisingly) catch fish, particularly in areas of slower flow.

My two favorite nymph patterns are the classic



Pheasant Tailed Nymph (PTN) and Gold Ribbed Hare’s-Ear.  I usually fish these throughout the season in  #16 or#18’s, weighted either with lead wire or a tungsten/brass/copper bead to get them fishing close to the bottom.  In combination with a dry-fly, fishing the duo or “Klink and Dink” as it’s colloquially known (see general advice page) they form a very effective way of determining whether the fish are feeding deep or are prepared to rise for a dry.

If the Beck is a little coloured a red/orange/pink shrimp pattern will often prodoce.

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear

Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear

I’m sure many people have their own favorite patterns and this list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of  succesful Cod Beck patterns. There would be too many, as the trout are generally not too selective in their choice of food.  But please note the word generally!