In the late 80’s, long before the beadhead reached the Americas and as my nyphing game came into its own, I became darn near a one pattern angler. The fly of choice was a commercial rendition of Cal Bird’s Bird’s Nest. With a few #16’s, a spool of 5X and some BB shot, I felt unstoppable. Once beads came forward I began working on my own version of the Bird’s Nest, and after a good deal of experimentation, settled on the Dirty Bird which was my first ever royalty pattern. Today, after more than two decades of fishing it, it remains my go-to pattern. If I want to skip the careful observation period and just go fishing, this is my fly. It is super generic and buggy and works as a caddis, mayfly and scud. The black bead is subtler and more realistic than other beads and the fly works great dead-drifted or on the swing.
Best Sellers: Hares Ear and Rust #14, #16. Olive #12-14. I like the tungsten in the smaller sizes.
Fishing Notes: Fish it like any nymph but also fish it like a soft hackle and let sink and rise up in front of your target.