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The Double Squirrel Nymph

The Double Squirrel Nymph

The double squirrel nymph has become a staple in my trout and steelhead boxes over the past few years. This little nymph is simple, and not groundbreaking by any means, but it works and it's fun to tie. I started tying this fly about 5 years ago because I was tired of my hare’s ear nymphs not being as buggy as I wanted them to be. So, I switched over to using SLF Squirrel dubbing instead of the traditional hare’s ear dubbing. After I reached the "bugginess" I wanted I decided to make it simpler and tie it without a wing case and change the collar color to dark brown to give it some contrast. This tying style is also referred to as “tying in the round”, no wing cases or legs, just a simple nymph profile. Then I got a little wild and added two hot spots, yup TWO, and that is ultimately how this bug got its name. Double Hot spots and tied out of squirrel dubbing, the “Double Squirrel”.

It is a great prospecting nymph if there isn’t much going on, it’s simple design and profile can mimic most mayfly nymphs just by changing the hook size.

The main sizes that I fish are 14s and 16s, but if the water is higher or off color, I will jump up to a size 12, in hopes that it will show up better and get a trout’s attention. On the other side of that, if the water is low and clear, I will drop down to a size 18 if needed.

Last year I started fishing them for great lakes and south east Alaskan steelhead, they definitely didn’t stick their noses up at them. For steelhead the pink hot spot variation has seemed to get the most interest. I will tie them up to a size 10 for steelhead and typically not go much smaller than a 14.

It is a great year-round fly and has caught fish from Maine to South America.


Double Squirrel Recipe:

Hook: TMC 450BL or Ahrex FW551 

Thread: 8/0 – Fl. Fire Orange

Bead: Slotted Tungsten – Black 

Tail: CDL Fibers – Black 

Rib: Small Pearl Tinsel

Body: SLF Squirrel Dubbing – Natural Fox

Collar: SLF Squirrel Dubbing – Dark Brown


Color Variations:

Thread Color: Fl. Chartreuse, Fl. Orange, Fl. Pink




Jake Villwock

Owner Relentless Fly Fishing

IG: @relentlessflyfishing



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