Behind the scenes

Organza Gill Nymph

By Pete Tyjas on 29th October 2018


Here’s another great pattern from the vise of Nick Thomas

It’s been a strange year on the Taff. In the beginning winter seem to want to hang on for ever with cold and snow staving off spring. Summer was just unreasonably hot, with the river dropping to a warm trickle. I stopped fishing for a few weeks; it just didn’t seem right. It got so bad that at one point late in the summer my club put a complete ban on any fishing. The start of autumn brought fierce squalls and flash flooding which completely changed the river in some places. Some of the best gravel runs were stripped back to the bedrock like a power-washed patio and boulders were shunted downstream like pebbles changing the course of some of the runs.

Despite all the hiatus the river continued to fish well, and I caught some good trout and grayling, plus a few bonus chub and barbel. One of the flies that earned its right to stay in my fly box though the changeable conditions was the OGN. In the early part of the year it fished well on a dropper above a heavy tungsten bead nymph, later transitioning to being suspended under a dry fly in a duo.

The OGN is not intended to imitate anything in particular; it’s simply designed to look very edible. The transparent body wrapped over shiny tinsel hints at segmentation and internal body structure, while the organza filaments catch the light and the current like the gills along the bodies of many natural nymphs.  

Hook Hends BL554 size 8-12

Head Black glass embroidery bead

Thread Veevus 12/0 black

Rib Semperfli 0.1mm chartreuse wire 

Abdomen Hends olive body glass

Gills Stripped cream organza ribbon

Underbody UTC medium opal mirage tinsel

Thorax Fasna olive squirrel dubbing

It looks complicated to tie. It’s not. Attaching the gills is just a matter of letting your wire wraps follow the spiral in the body. Once tied it’s as tough as old boots and will last far longer than a nymph tied with herl gills secured with thread.

  1. Put a bead on the hook and run on the thread behind. Catch in a length of wire and bind down round the bend.
  2. Cut two narrow strips from the edges of a length of organza ribbon, strip out the log fibres and cut the short fibres away at one end of each piece to create a tag.
  3. Tie in the prepared organza by the tags and make sure they are sitting under the hook bend with the fibres pointing down. Bind down the organza tags up the shank.
  4. Tie in a length of body glass flat side down at the point where you want the back of the thorax to be, stretch it and tie down back to the organza and then bring the thread forward to where you started.
  5. Tie in a length of tinsel and wind down and back up the body in overlapping turns and cut off the waste end.
  6. Wind the body glass forward in touching turns to form the abdomen, tie in and trim off the waste.
  7. Bring the organza pieces forward and secure in front of the abdomen with just one or two turns of thread which will allow the organza to move as you wind the wire.
  8. Wind the wire forward following the grooves in the abdomen, wiggle the wire as it goes through the organza to avoid trapping the fibres. Secure the wire at the end of the thorax with a few extra turns.
  9. Adjust the position of the organza if necessary; gently pulling straight down on the fibres will settle the strands under the abdomen. Make further thread wraps to secure the organza and the wire and then break and cut off the waste materials.
  10. Dub the thorax area, smear the thread with varnish, whip finish behind the bead and cut the thread. Brush out the dubbing.

The pattern lends itself well to variations. Body glass is available in a wide range of colours or can be tinted with a marker pen. Mixing with different wires and organza in darker colours allows a wide range of nymphs to be imitated should you wish. Me? I just use the olive and cream flavour. It works.

For a step by step guide to tying the OGN and a bit of summer fishing watch the video below.


Nick Thomas lives in South Wales. He started fly fishing on Scottish hill lochs many years ago and continues to design, tie and fish flies for trout, grayling, carp, bass and anything else that’s going.