Michigan Hillbilly Nymph – Jerry Kunnath

Since I’ll be heading up to the Au Sable in Michigan this summer, it’s hard to not think about being up in Michigan right now. My step-son and I floated the South Branch last year with my buddy Jerry Kunnath. Speaking of which, Jerry tied up this Michigan Hillbilly awhile back and he provides some good information about this old pattern.


This fly is one of those old time flies that have been around for more years than most can remember. It is rumored to have been named in one of the old fly fishing lodges that were located on the North Branch of the Au Sable. Seems that a group of guys just named it kiddingly after one of their fishing buddies.

Hook – Tiemco #105 [egg fly hook] size 4 for a bigger nymph, size 8 for a smaller nymph
Thread– black 6/0 uni-thread
Tail– grey squirrel hair [tail fibers]
Egg Sack– peacock hurl, about three to four thicker strands
Body– red chenille, and make it thick
Wing– woodchuck tail fibers [both fine and course]
Hackle– brown or black, stiff hackle [soft hackle if you want it more buggy]

I like to tie in the tail so that it points down the bend of the hook a little. I also prefer to include both course and fine woodchuck tail fibers in the wing. I think that it makes the nymph look more ‘buggy’, which is, in my opinion, always better for catching fish. Build up a bit of a head with the thread also as you finish the fly, then dab the head with a bit of cement to solidify. And remember; fish it right near the bottom, rolling along naturally in the current. And don’t ask me what it is supposed to resemble. All I know is that it catches fish….trout, smallmouth, carp, darn near whatever is swimming near it.

Comments Off on Michigan Hillbilly Nymph – Jerry Kunnath

Filed under nymphs

Comments are closed.