Below is a list of ten essential nymphs for brown trout and char fishing in Icelandic rivers, a brief description of what they emulate and the sizes commonly used:
1. Peacock – Simple, but still the most used nymph in Iceland and emulate caddis cases and are often mistaken for midge or chironomid. Sizes: 8 – 16
2. Pheasant tail – The first choice of many anglers and suitable for all conditions, with or without a beat. First designed by the English riverkeeper Frank Sawyer to imitate multivariate nymph species. Sizes: 10 – 16
3. Krókurinn “the hook” – A very productive fly that was designed by Gylfi Kristjánsson, an Icelandic fly tyer. Emulates several aquatic insects preferably a hatching Chironomidae. Usually tied on a size 10 – 16 hooks.
4. Peter Ross – Originally a wet fly, but has proven to be lethal as a nymph. Flashy colors and works great as an attractor pattern especially when it comes to char fishing. Most often used in size 10 – 14
5. Killer – Originally designed by the fly tier Þór Nielsen (1975) particularly to catch Arctic char in Lake Þingvallavatn. There, it has excelled through the years but has proven itself in other parts of Iceland, e.g. in brown trout fishing in Laxá in Þingeyrjarsýsla. Sizes 10 – 14 work well
6. Zebra Midge – invented by Ted Welling and imitates a tiny midge pupa. It is therefore well suited to Icelandic conditions where the midge flora is enormous. Typically used is sizes 12 – 18 and even smaller in case of a picky fish.
7. Bloodworm – A very effective fly and frequently used as a dropper. Works well for both Arctic char and brown trout. Imitates a larva of the black fly (midge) when it is full of blood, before metamorphosis. Used in sizes 10 – 16.
8. Teal & Black – Is a classic and imitates the larvae of the black fly (midges). Better smaller than bigger, sizes 14 – 16 and even 18.
9. Hares ear – Together with Peacock and PT the most used nymphs in Iceland. Works throughout the year because it covers a broad variety of prey that is active in every season. Sizes 10 – 14
10. Kibbi – Very simple and popular local fly, created by Björgvin A. Björgvinsson. Imitates the larvae of the black fly (midges) in metamorphosis when the body is filling up, from bloodworm to a grubber. Usually used in sizes 10 – 16 grubber hooks.