The ATO Deacon
By Nick Christofeno
Hook: Standard Size 12 nymph hook
Thread: UTC Green Olive 140 denier
Bead: Tungsten Orange 5/32"
Rib: UTC Ultra Wire Copper size Small
Dubbing: Orvis Rainbow Sow scud dark dubbing
Wingcase: UTC Mirage Pearl Tinsel Large
Thorax: Peacock green dubbing
Tail: Pheasant Tail
Hackle: Grizzly Soft Hackle or partridge hackle
Inspiration for the Deacon came from my experience fishing the Brookville Tailwaters in Southern Indiana and also the Amish Church. A while back, Andy created the Bishop nymph, which represents the head of the Amish Church. In the Amish hierarchy, the Deacon is 3rd in command to the Bishop. The Deacon of the church is responsible for a multitude of tasks, much like the Deacon nymph when I fish it. You can dead drift it, swing it, jig it, even strip it; all tactics will put fish in the net. I wanted to create a fly that would combine some of the features of the bishop with my own twist. Hot head nymphs are a staple pattern for the picky trout down at Brookville, so I decided to look into modifications that would be suitable for the Little Elkhart. I decided to substantially increase the size from a size 20 to a size 12, which allows the fish to see it in the fast current and sometimes stained water. I added a flashback wingcase for a little extra flash as well as soft hackle to bring the fly to life when it is fished with a retrieve. My absolute favorite style of fishing this nymph is as a bugger dropper with the Deacon dropped off approximately 18" of a tungsten conehead bugger. Dead drift the fly through a run, let it swing up, give it a twitch or two, and bam! You're in business! I have caught rainbows on this fly, however, it seems to be a favorite of the browns.