By Martin Langlands
Fish after fish both Peter and I presented dry and nymph patterns also changing sizes with still no response. The fish were generally very large and would take-off after one or two presentations. Tying the Perla nymph.
Onward up the forest stream we came to a fish sitting in the clam tail of a large pool. At this time, a little despondent, we tried the normal hare and copper, half back and stonefly nymphs with no interest shown by the fish at all. At least it gave us several chances at presentation. Peter tied on yet another nymph, cast above the fish and hooked up, the silent valley rang with “Perla Magic” as he shouted. Finally at 2 o’clock we had landed and released a prime back country trout.
From this occasion on I have used the Perla Nymph South Island wide and it has become a firm favourite in my fly box as it is with many fellow anglers. The Perla Nymph is a South Island special, originally designed and tied by Alice Harmer of Tisdalls fame in Christchurch. Alice is an excellent craft person who has tied many South Island specials and will be remembered by many Canterbury anglers. The Perla was originally tied to copy the Zelandoperla maculata Nymph (Long tailed Stonefly). However it represents many Stonefly and Mayfly Nymphs.
I find the Perla especially good for back country browns, in particular larger more selective specimens. It is also effective on rainbow trout. What makes the Perla so successful? A question I am frequently asked. The essence lies in the segmented body, elongated hook, rough appearance, emulated legs and gills so apparent on nymphs combined with the widened flat body give the Perla nymph that buggy look.
Most often the Perla nymph is tied on long shank hooks in sizes 12-10-8, smaller sizes are less common but very good for small streams. Lead wire is often incorporated to aid sink rate, also it can he useful to use an unweighted tie especially when delicate presentation is required. Giving life to nymph patterns.
The Perla Nymph is truly adaptable being both ideal for sight and indicator fishing and fine for use on high and low country rivers as well as spring creeks. I have also used it in lakes with good effect. All in all this fly is a Perla Mate!
Hook: Long shank 12-10-8.
Body: Widened with wool or lead wire then covered with stripped Peacock quill.
Tail: Two Peasant tail ﬁbres.
Wing case: Guinea Fowl or Pheasant.
Legs: Guinea Fowl or Pheasant.