D-Rib Nymph

I first started tying the pattern in the early 90's. I was doing the occasional guiding trip on Oregon's Deschutes River. It was late July and the dog days of a hot summer had made my life difficult to say the least. The best fishing was found in the back eddies or in the deep drop offs just below riffles. In the afternoon the usual summer baetis hatches would occur and trout could be caught on nymphs. It was a perfect opportunity to wet wade, keep cool and catch fish for both my clients and myself. 

I started to rely on this pattern for my ace in the hole for getting fish in tough fishing conditions. I still use this pattern as my dropper under a dry or typically behind one of my anchor patterns such as the Cranefly Larva.


  • Hook: Kamasan B10s #12-16 (pictured)
  • Thread: Veevus 30D GSP. This stuff is TOUGH and nearly invisible.
  • Tail: Pheasant tail barbs. Leave butt ends to form taper and to counter shade the dorsal side of the abdomen. The 30D thread virtually vanishes allowing the coloration of the pheasant tail fibers to show through.
  • Abdomen: Small size D-Rib a half round stretchy lace. Pictured are black and yellow but use gray, tan, rootbeer, red etc,.
  • Thorax: Haretron dubbing to match.
  • Wing case: pheasant tail fibers
  • Legs: Tips of pheasant tail fibers left over from wing case.

Step 1:

Start the thread and wind rearwards towards the bend of the hook in smooth touching turns.

Tie in 6 pheasant tail fibers on the top of the hook shank. Make sure the fibers remain on the top and do not trim.


Step 2:

Advance the thread forward in smooth even wraps stopping at the 2/3 point. At this point you can trim off the butts of the tail fibers.


Step 3:

Attach the D-rib along the top of the shank at the tie off point ( 2/3 length) with the round side up. Firmly Stretch the d-rib rearwards as you tie it in to compress the material to the top of the hook shank.


Step 4.

Advance the thread back to the tie in point of the tail. Keep stretching the D-rib as tight as you can while giving very firm pressure to your thread wraps. We want to compress the D-rib as flat as possible while keeping it aligned along the top of the hook shank. Here is where the benefit of using 30D GSP thread comes in. Not only does this thread leave a very small footprint, it almost disappears it's tough as nails. You can really put the screws to this step.


Step 5:

Wrap the D-rib forward applying as much pressure as needed to keep a slim profile. Space each wrap slightly apart to maintain a distinct segmentation. Stop at the 2/3 tie off point. Keep steady pressure as you begin to tie off the material.


Step 6:

Tie off the D-rib to the bottom side of the hook shank, and trim off excess. Using firm pressure, wrap the thread forward binding down the butt end of the D-rib to the hook shank.


Step 7:

Advance the thread forward to the eye of the hook. Select six to eight pheasant tail fibers. make sure all of the ends are even and the same length. Tie them in by the tips at the eye of the hook pointing forward along the top. t

Take just 2 turns at first so that you can pull them to length before you advance the thread rearward to the 2/3 tie off point.


Step 8:

Build a forward facing smooth taper in the thorax area to serve as a foundation for the next step.


Step 9:

Apply a small amount of dubbing to the thread. It helps to add a very small amount of wax to the thread and on your fingers to spin a tight rope of dubbing. Wrap the dubbing forward forming the thorax. Make sure the thorax tapers towards the eye of the hook.


Step 10:

The finished thorax.

Divide the tips of the pheasant tail fibers in half to form legs.


Step 11:

With the tips of the pheasant tail fibers divided, draw them back along the sides of the thorax and secure with a couple turns of thread.

Pull the butt ends of the pheasant tail fibers forward and between the legs to for the wing case. Secure with a couple wraps of the thread and trim off the butts.


Step 12:

Form a small thread head.

Apply a very thin amount of super glue to the thread and whip finish.


Step 13:

Tint the wing case and head with a marker. Here I am using a Copic brand fluorescent yellow marker. This ink has a nice UV quality to it and is waterproof for about an hour of fishing.