Top Fly of 2018 – GD’s Black Death
December 14, 2018
For me, 2018 was the year of Euro Nymphing. As a way to improve my overall fly fishing skill set, I started Euro (or tight line) Nymphing in November, 2017. My intent was simple – focus on a new tactic for a period of months and then switch to something else like dry flies in the spring.
You’ll learn about my complete 2018 fishing experience in another post but it would be no small exaggeration to say that I absolutely LOVE tight line nymphing. Some would say it is now an obsession, but those would be the people I haven’t (yet) converted.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that my favorite fly of 2018 was GD’s Black Death. Developed by George Daniel and highlighted in his book Dynamic Nymphing, the Black Death imitates a stone fly nymph.
The pattern uses a jig hook, black dubbing with a red rib and a black CDC collar. A black tungsten bead head and a few optional wraps of lead get this fly to the bottom very quickly. The jig hook will ride tip up while it is fished, saving you from snagging everything it crosses.
I caught fish on this pattern every single time I used it regardless of location, stream type, water temperature, current hatch, etc. It’s no wonder that it is my favorite fly and something I’ll have in my fly box for years to come.
HOOK: #14 Jig
BEAD: Slotted, 2.3mm - Black Tungsten
THREAD: 8/0 Black
TAIL: Coq de Leon
RIB: Red Utra Wire (small)
BODY: Black SLF Squirrel Dubbing
HACKLE: Black CDC
ORIGINATOR: George Daniel