The Bird's Nest is a nymph pattern designed by the late Cal Bird in 1959. Cal was a master fly tier, who owned a small fly shop in San Francisco in the 40's and 50's. Cal developed this fly for the Truckee River. Usually tied in tan colors to imitate caddis pupae, other colors used are cream, brown, and olive. Cal actually used a blend of Australian Opossum and dyed Coyote for the dubbed body. He also insisted on Woodduck flank for the tail and hackle to achieve the proper stiffness. Often, other flytiers will substitute Teal or Mallard Flank and utilize Haretron or a similar dubbing for the body. According to Ralph Cutter in his fine book, "Fish Food" (2005), Cal claimed that he gave the fly it's distinctive name due to an entanglement with a bird's nest while on the Truckee and that the name should be spelled with a lowercase 'b'. Their mutual friend, Polly Rosborough, hinted that it may have gained a different spelling after he chided Cal upon naming a fly after himself. You might notice that the pattern also uses Polly Rosborough's technique of "tying in the round", which was particularly popular during the 1950's. Another interesting feature is the rougher thorax with more protruding fibers. Frank Matarelli designed a hook, known as Cal Bird's Dubbing Tool, This tool is used within the "improved" Bird's Nest to create a dubbing loop in which the Opossum dubbing is applied for a more buggy look on the thorax.
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