A while back I watched an online video of Damian Wilmot from Fly By Night Guide Service tying a nymph patterned called the Brule X-Legs nymph pattern. Damian mentions in the video how it is one of his favorite patterns for steelhead on the Bois Brule River. The fly is also called the "Superior X-legs", and I was told it was orignally tied by Jim Polluck for the Minnesota north shore of Lake Superior kamloops rainbows. The pattern immediately caught my attention and so I had to tie some for my favorite northern Wisconsin freestone trout streams.
After tying a few I decided to modify the fly slightly with some materials that would hopefully enhance the features of this great nymph pattern and make it a little more enticing. I switched the hook to a Hends BL120 jig hook with a slotted tungsten bead which helps the fly snag less because the hook face upward in the water. I changed the dubbing to a special squirrel blend with added antron fibers and UV flash materials to give the fly some additional attraction qualities. For the legs I use Wapsi's Sili legs in various colors. I prefer the lighter leg colors because they stand out more on the nymph pattern. All the materials including the Hends jig hooks came from Competitive Angler.
The key to fishing this deadly pattern to keep the fly near the bottom of the stream where there is barely any current and the trout are holding/feeding.
Brule X-Legs Nymph Pattern Recipe
by John Simonson
Hook: Hends 120BL #8 - #16, or comparable hook
Thread: Veevus 14/0 Brown, Black or Olive
Bead: Gold or Light Coffee Slotted Tungsten bead
Tail: Brown Pine Squirrel fur or Brown Marabou
Body: Rusty Brown Squirrel with Antron & UV Flash dubbing
Ribbing: Gold wire (optional)
Legs: Wapsi Sili Legs - Amber Barred
Also, try tying the Brule X-Legs pattern in dark olive, black, etc.
Competitive Angler offers the Squirrel X-B Blends with Antron & UV Flash dubbing in several colors and they all work great for this nymph as well as on other nymph and pupae patterns.
Another great way of tying it is to make the abdomen wrapped in copper wire, like a Copper John style. Make the thoraz dubbing or peacock herl. The the Brule X-Legs with copper wire abdomen will help get your fly down fast.