With our trout season wrapping up in just a few days I thought I’d share one of my favorite nymph patterns. The good thing is that this pattern is equally at home in the trout AND steelhead box! Pheasant tails have long been top producers for countless fly fishers and this variation is one of the most effective.
When fishing new, and home water this fly is one of three I reach for first. Like many, I wouldn’t dare guess how many trout I’ve fooled with this thing~suffice to say, your nymph box simply is NOT complete without some pheasant tail nymphs. I had tied both standard and bead-headed pheasant tails for about a decade when a guide suggested I try to tie them this style. WOW! Give them a try!
NOTE:You can buy either "pheasant tails" of pheasant tail "feathers." Unless you’re looking to find uses for the smaller feathers found under the longer ones, just buy the feathers. Color~Look through the packages and try to find feathers with lots of that characteristic "rust" color. If you find good quality feathers, buy several packs. Its not uncommon to go months looking for feathers only to find poor quality ones.
Tying The Flash-back Pheasant Tail Nymph Pattern
Hook:Mustad 80050BR (size#14 here) or size/style to match what you’re fishing for
Thread:8/0 Dark brown (or size/color to suit your fly)
Weight:Small lead wire
Tail:Pheasant tail fibers (8-10)
Rib:Medium copper wire
Abdomen:Pheasant tail fibers (12-18)
Legs:Pheasant Tail fibers (about 8-10)
Wingcase/flash-back:UNI-Mylar 1/16" "Pearl" color (with a drop of 5 minute epoxy)
Make several wraps of small lead wire as shown. Secure it with several wraps of thread, creating a taper on both ends. This will make it easier to
create a smooth, tapered body.
Tie in the pheasant tail fibers for the tails, trim the butt ends. Tie in the medium copper wire.
Tie in pheasant tail fibers for the abdomen so that they are facing back as shown. Wind the thread forward.
Grab the bunch of pheasant tail fibers and wind them all forward to create the abdomen. With enough fibers, the
wraps shouldn’t really overlap. Trim the butt ends.
Tie in the pheasant tail fibers that will eventually be the legs. Tri to tie them onto the top of the hook shank, not the sides. Trim the butt ends.
Wind the copper wire forward to create the rib.
Tie in the pearl mylar facing the back, on top of the hook shank. Wind the thread back to where the pheasant tail fibers in the abdomen ended.
Tie in several strands of peacock herl
Grab the bunch of peacock herl and wind it all forward to create the thorax. Some overlapping is usually necessary to create a bit of bulk.
Make sure you don’t crowd the eye of the hook. Pull the mylar forward tightly creating the "wing case" and tie off.
Pull the mylar back and make a few wraps of thread in front of it. Cut the excess off as close as possible.
Separate the fibers that will become the legs into two equal bunches.
Stroke the bunches back along each side of the nymph’s thorax and make several tight wraps of thread~this holds the fibers back and creates the fly’s "head"
Mix up a small batch of 5-minute epoxy and, using your bodkin, add a nice-sized drop to the top of the mylar wing case. Using the tip of the bodkin, spread it to the four corners of the wing case while trying NOT to get any on the peacock herl. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours before fishing it. Don’t "test" the 5-minute claim by touching the wing case too soon, it’ll cause the surface of the epoxy to look very dull. For obvious reasons, tie a few flies and do the epoxy bit all at once. Five minutes vest describes the working time of the epoxy before it becomes to too stiff.
Vise by http//peakfishing.com