How to Tie: The Purple Rainbow Warrior

In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Fly Fish Food shows us how to tie a variation on an attractor pattern that every angler should know, the Purple Rainbow Warrior.

Difficulty: Intermediate

The Rainbow Warrior is a notorious attractor nymph that unequivocally catches trout. Created by Lance Egan, an innovator and European nymphing expert, this fly works in various sizes and variations. The Purple Rainbow Warrior is a slight spin on the tried and true trout magnet. Winter is approaching and using a smaller attractor should soon be a staple in your nymph rigs.

With water temperatures already cooling in many places, dropping down in sizes will help increase your eats from more lethargic fish. The Purple Rainbow Warrior is one of those flies that can always be in a nymph rig regardless of season. This fly in sizes 16-20 will undoubtedly be a good selection during winter on any given day. The dubbing used for this fly gives some flash to the thorax, while being paired with the purple body creates the ultimate attractor nymph.

The Purple Rainbow Warrior may take those slightly more aggressive fish during the colder months and relieve you of a skunk on the day. Pairing this fly with a small midge pattern is a great starting place for winter fishing. Using 6x tippet in these rigs during winter is a perfect complement to these smaller flies. Keeping the Purple Rainbow Warrior in your fly box during these colder months will prove to be a decision that pays off with tight lines and big smiles.


  • Hook: TMC 2457 Caddis Pupa, Nymph Hook – 18
  • Bead: Plummeting Tungsten Beads – Nickel – 3/32″ (2.3mm)
  • Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier – Red
  • Tail: Nature’s Spirit Ringneck Pheasant Center Tails – Natural
  • Body: Veevus Holographic Tinsel – Purple – Large
  • Thorax: Wapsi Sow Scud Dubbing – Rainbow
  • Wing Case: Pearl Tinsel – Large
  • Alternate Hook: Daiichi 1120 – Heavy Wire Scud Hook – 18

Now you know how to tie the Purple Rainbow Warrior.

Video and ingredients courtesy of Fly Fish Food.

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