By Paul Johnson

Having recently retired I now have a little more time to reflect back on some of the things I have accomplished in my life. During this time of reflection I have come to the conclusion that the best ideas I ever had, I borrowed from someone else! That is how my favorite fly, the Purple Prince Charming came to be.

Several years ago Fly Tyer Magazine featured a fly pattern called the Prince Charming. I have always been a big fan of the standard Prince Nymph, so this fly caught my eye. As I recall, the original Prince Charming had a stubby marabou tail and an olive tinsel body. It had a wire rib, white goose biots for the wing and also quite a bold thorax with dubbing and several wraps of hackle. After studying the article and the step by step instructions, I tied some up and they looked okay, but I saw the potential for something better.

Since the fly was “just okay”, I borrowed that pattern and asked myself how to make this fly better. First thing to go was the marabou tail, which I replaced with Zelon. Next the abdomen, where the olive tinsel was out and replaced with purple stretchy floss. The wired ribbing and the white biot wings were fine by me. For the thorax, I did away with the dubbing and just made three full turns with standard dry fly hackle. That is how the Purple Prince Charming came About


In the past couple years, my Prince Charming family has grown and now includes Red, Olive, Hot Pink, Chartreuse and Copper. I will fish these flies from early spring through the fall. I encourage you to tie some up and give them a try.

Paul Johnson

Waconia, Minnesota


Hook: Size 14 scud hook

Bead: 2.8 or 3.0 mm gold tungsten

Tail: Mayfly Brown Zelon

Rib: Gold wire size Brassie

Abdomen: Purple bug Legs any stretchy floss

Wing: White goose biots

Thorax: Grizzly hackle sized to a #16 hook

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