Fly Fishing: The Muncher Nymph
Other Names: Ian's Muncher Nymph, The Steelhead Muncher, James' Muncher Nymph

The Muncher Nymph may be one of the most productive, all-round, universal, searching and fish catching flies in the known universe. Story finished.

History of the Muncher Nymph
I began developing the Muncher Nymph back in 1980 when I was looking for a "multi-species" pattern which would produce fish in Ontario. I had just stepped off the boat from Scotland a year earlier and I had been having luck using standard British mayfly nymphs which were tied with their legs protruding horizontally from the wingcase. After 25 years of experimentation, I can now safely say that; nymphs tied with horizontal legs wiggle in the current and produce more fish than nymphs tied with palmered hackle legs, like those found on a Montana Nymph. Back then it was nothing more than a hunch which set up the horizontal legs as the starting point for the Muncher Nymph, but now I know for sure that they play a huge part in the effectiveness of the fly. Fishing the River Clyde as kid back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, someone told me that if the body of a nymph was two toned it would produce more fish than a unicoloured nymph. This bit of information was also incorporated into the Muncher Nymph. One last fish-hitting trigger I put into the fly was the double wingcase. I tie a lot of flies for very successful float fishermen and one thing these fishermen all seem to have in common is that they like their nymphs to have a double wingcase. So, needless to say, the double wingcase was worked into the design of the Muncher Nymph.

The three triggers are:
1. Horizontal legs
2. A two tone body
3. A double wingcase

There are another three important fish hitting triggers incorporated into the Muncher Nymph, but as folk like to rip-off fly patterns, the only way you are going to find out what those other triggers are, is to purchase a few and then take a long hard look at the flies. Just remember that when no fish are showing, and in a wide range of conditions, the Muncher Nymph will consistently produce fish. The Muncher Nymph has produced fish from Alaska down to Arkansas, all-across Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scandinavia.

Fishing the Muncher Nymph
The Muncher Nymph will work when fished using all the regular nymphing techniques like: upstream nymphing, short line nymphing, as part of the Polish or the Czech Nymphing Techniques, or on the swing. By far the two most productive sizes are a #8 and a #10. The larger size should be used in fast or broken water, or in conditions when the water has some colour to it. The smaller size is perfect for going after finicky fish in low or gin clear water. Although I have had good success fishing a Muncher Nymph greased up in the surface, it is much more productive when fished tight to the bottom. Some fly fishermen like fishing two Muncher Nymphs on the same leader. I have found that the traditional dropper system, with the dropper extending no more than 4-inches, will work just as well as when the flies are tied in tandem as in the New Zealand dropper system. No matter which system you prefer to use, the point fly should always be the heaviest

Go deep for Goby
If you are fishing a Muncher Nymph along the edges of the Great Lakes, or in the tributary streams and rivers flowing into Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron, you know that you are fishing on the bottom if you are hooking into a round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) now and again. In fact, in the Lake Erie watershed the round goby is considered to be the most prolific and most abundant bottom dwelling species in the watershed. Originally from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, where funnily enough they are now considered to be endangered, the round goby is an invasive species in Ontario. Although they often get a bad rap, a fully grown round goby can scarf down over 70 Zebra Mussels per day. They were first found in Ontario in the St. Clair River, near Sarnia, in the summer of 1990.The round goby sort of looks like many of our native sculpins, but they can easily be distinguished from a sculpin by flipping them over onto their back. A round goby has a "sucker" or a "disc" on its belly, and a sculpin does not. The sucker or disc is in fact the pelvic fins on the round goby which are fused together. The big misconception about this disc is that the round goby uses it to attach itself onto larger fish. This is simply untrue. The disc is thought to help keep the goby "tight to the bottom" on a riverbed or a lake bottom.This is a long winded way of say that you know you are fishing the Muncher Nymph at the right depth for steelhead, salmon, smallmouth bass and carp if you are picking up a round goby now and again. For the record, the first fly fisherman to land a round goby, was Dr. Borys Chambul. In 1994 he hooked into a round goby while fishing for carp in Hamilton Harbor using a 9-weight. Yes, he was fishing a Muncher Nymph at the time. And, here is an Ask Ian question about the Round Goby.

The Muncher Nymph will catch:
The Muncher Nymph will work on a wide variety of fish species including:
Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Steelhead, Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Atlantic salmon, Pink salmon, White Bass, Redhorse, Drum, Largemouth Bass, Mooneye, Whitefish, Brook Trout, Bull Trout, Fallfish, Rockymountain Whitefish, Goldeneye, Tiger Trout, Channel Catfish, Grayling, Carp, Smallmouth Bass and Pike.

To purchase some Muncher Nymphs

Sizes Available: #8 and #10
Hook: Diiachi 1150 / Kamasan B420

Price per dozen in Canadian Funds.
(You can mix and match the sizes if you want to.)
1 dozen: $42.00
2 dozen: $78.00
3 dozen: $108.00
4 dozen: $132.00

Shipping and Tax will be added to your order.
All orders will be shipped within 4 working days.

Cheque or an International Money Order from your local Post Office.

Here's how to do it

1. Send me an e-mail and let me know what you want.
2. I will confirm your order and ship the flies.
3. When you receive the Muncher Nymphs, send me the payment.
E-mail: Ordering Request for Muncher Nymphs

A word of caution
There are several fly tiers who are selling knockoff Muncher Nymphs. These knockoff flies may or may not work, and there is a very good chance they are not even close to being as productive as the original Muncher Nymph. I have purchased Muncher Nymphs from several tiers, and most of the flies were just brutal, resembling the original Muncher Nymph in name only. I tie each and every fly I send out. This is my original pattern and each Muncher Nymph is tied using the proper materials in the proper proportions. Don't be fooled by cheap and inferior imitations.

At no point during the building of this page, or when acquiring the images and content for this page, were any fish, anglers and Muncher Nymphs injured or damaged.

The Muncher Nymph and an incidental catch
Fly Fishing is unpredictable, and every so often strange things occur.
>> Take a look.




..."The Muncher Nymph is hands down one of the best flies I have ever used. It is often the first fly out of my box when I am fishing Smallmouth Bass, Brown Trout or Steelhead. It's one of my go-to flies. Ian develops blue-collar patterns that simply catch a lot of fish."...
Colin Mc Keown, Host, The New Fly Fisher TV Show.