Fox Squirrel

Printable Version


Dave Whitlock created this pattern called the red fox squirrel nymph in the late 1960's. It is an awesome pattern for both cold and warm water species. Dave calls this fly his favorite and for good reason. It is an absolutely excellent fish getter. The pattern can represent an October Caddis, a Mayfly Nymph, a Caddis Emerger or even a Stonefly Nymph. A size 8 or 10 bead head with legs is an excellent pattern on the Eleven Point River in Missouri. The squirrel belly and back fur gives this fly a reddish brown appearance. Air Bubbles and light on the fly makes for a halo appearance. This fly deserves space in your crowded fly box in a range of sizes. Don't leave home without it.


2x or 3x long nymph, size 4 to 16. Mustad 9671 or 9672; Eagle Claw 63 or 58; Tiemco 5262 or 5263; Daiichi 1710 or 1720
Brown or black 8/0 Uni-thread and 3/0 Monocord or 6/0 Flymaster
Red fox squirrel hair mixed with an equal amount of comparably-colored Antron dubbing or similarTail:
Red fox squirrel guard hair
Red fox squirrel hair mixed with an equal amount of dark gray Antron dubbing or similar
Underbody: Fine lead free wire.
Dark mottled partridge, grouse or hen hackle

Tying Instructions

  1. First pinch your barb, and then lay a thread base down.
  2. Tie is 10-15 Red Fox Squirrel back guard hairs for the tail.
  3. Tie in your ribbing material and advance the thread 2/3 up the hook shank.
  4. Mix tan Antron with Red Fox Squirrel belly hair and dub the Abdomen; tapering the body thicker toward the thorax.
  5. Counter-wind the rib up the Abdomen and tie off.
  6. Mix dark brown Antron with Red Fox Squirrel back hair and dub the thorax.
  7. Tie in and wind the hackle. Build the head to size (1/4 inch in length), whip finish the head.
  8. Tie off the hackle and build a small neat head.
  9. Whip-finish and cement the head.
  10. Dave Whitlock the pattern originator has came up with Dave Whitlock Plus SLF dubbing #1 & #2 to make tying this fly a little easier.


The fly is often tied with a bead head appropriate for the hook size used. It can also be tied with rubber legs at the head.