How to tie a Colorado River Special

The Colorado River Special is a Bead Head Nymph designed to catch big trout in the Colorado River.  The bright tail and copper bead prove to be irresistible to the brown trout and rainbow trout living behind deep rocks. I tie this fly with quite a bit of weight and I often reduce the size of my hook as the season turns.

(Click here to learn a little about the Colorado River)


Watch how to tie this fly:

~Click on any image to enlarge~

Materials List:

When I tie flies to use on the Colorado River, I use strong hooks, the fish are big and will bend out inferior hooks in a matter of moments. For this Colorado River Special, I used a Tiemco 3761 Size 10

 I also use a bead on this nymph pattern.  I prefer gold or copper beads
that are matched to the hook, like these in the picture above.

Strong thread is a must for this bead head nymph, a tightly 
wrapped fly will last for quite some time.  I used brown in the video.

I also use Copper wire for the rib.  This also helps keep the fly 
durable and i think adds a little to the way a fly looks.

The tail of a Colorado River Special is tied with brightly colored red or orange 
material.  I have used both marabou and rabbit and both work just fine.

The body of this fly is wrapped with a couple of peacock hurls.
I hunt for peacock hurls that are "full" looking.
Click here to buy Full Looking Peacock Hurl

The collar of this killer little bead head nymph is tied with brown saddle hackle.  I like to use hackles that are stiff and stand right out.  In a way I believe that this hackle acts as a weed guard that keeps my fly from snagging as often.
Click here to buy good Brown Saddle Hackles

~Click on any image to enlarge~

Step By Step: How to tie a Colorado River Special

Place a bead on a hook

Wrap the hook with lead wire

Now start the thread

Tie in a tail

Add a copper rib

Tie in peacock hurl and wrap it forward

And wrap the copper rib forward in the other direction

Tie in a stout saddle hackle, whip finish, and complete the fly

Capt Matt Guides from a drift boat on the Colorado River West of Glenwood Springs, CO. The Colorado is a true fly fishing experience and big fish are caught every day. If you would like to book a top fly fishing guide for the Colorado River, go to

"How to tie a
Colorado River Special"
by Capt. Matt Thomas

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