While the pheasant tail nymph requires little introduction, this variation may be new to many. The addition of a bead to the pheasant tail nymph has proven very effective to fly fishers the world over. This "Sparkle Pheasant Tail" nymph takes the attractive nature of the shiny bead to the next level. If you were to look in my nymph box, you would see two tidy rows of these flies, made up mostly of #10s and #16s.
The #10s I use in any fast water, the #16s I use in very small or slow-moving streams. It has worked in every trout river i’ve ever fished, making it a personal favorite. Chances are, you likely have most or all of these materials at hand right now. Rob. P.S. Tie more than one, you’ll need it!
Tying The Sparkle-Pheasant Tail Nymph Pattern
Hook:Tiemco #2487 (caddis/scud hook)
Bead:Gold 1/8" (size#10) 3/32" (size#16)
Tail:Peasant tail fibers
Rib:Med./Small copper wire
Abdomen:Pheasant tail fibers
Sparkle:Pearl Krystal Flash and white Z-Lon
Slip the bead onto the hook and make several wraps of .020" lead wire behind it on the shank. Trim wire and push it up against the bead. Tie in thread (i’ll often use black 6/0 for this step) and wind back and over the the lead wraps and secure them. Using the thread, create a taper as shown. This will help the pheasant tail fibers take a nice form when wrapped.
Wind thread back, and tie in the copper wire.
Trim approx. 8 pheasant tail fibers from a tail feather (ringneck pheasant) keeping the tips aligned as much as possible. Tie in as the tail and wind forward to secure it.
Trim approx. 10 pheasant tail fibers and tie in at the tail. Wind forward as shown, and tie off when you reach the black portion of the fibers., or about 2/3 of the way to the bead.
Wind the copper rib forward and tie off.
Tie in a pc. of white Z-Lon, approx. 2/3s of a strand.
Double up a strand of Krystal Flash and tie in, ahead of Z-Lon. Gently hold the Krystal flash in a rearward direction, and wind back your thread to the Z-Lon’s tie-in point. This will keep them facing back.
Tie in 4 pcs. of peacock herl and wind forward creating the thorax. Tie-off and trim the butts of the herl.
Trim the Krystal Flash to the desired length, and do the same for the Z-Lon. NOTE: I like the Krystal Flash to be slightly longer than the Z-Lon. Make several wraps of thread behind the bead, trim it and add a few drops of head cement.