RCG Crafts- Pheasant Tail Nymph

If you're like me you're always thinking "now what can I make with that?" Being a fly tyer I'm always setting aside feathers from ducks, pheasants, peacocks and even my chickens!

One of my 'go to' flies is the pheasant tail nymph. A very versatile fly that can be tied in different colors and with variations like a bead head or flash back. Simple to tie and with only 3 different ingredients for the basic fly, you can definitely use up those loose pheasant tails that aren't perfect for other crafts.

First of all select your hook. I like to use about a size 12 long shank nymph hook. This will allow plenty of room to make a long nymph looking fly. Tie in your thread and tie in a small clump of pheasant tail barbs for the tail.

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Next tie in a gold or copper wire followed by a larger clump of pheasant tail, tips first. End your thread about 2/3 up the hook.

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Wrap the pheasant tail up to your thread and then the wire, counter clockwise or the opposite direction of your pheasant tail wrap. This is going to lock in your tail fibers and make a little stronger fly (believe me, a few bites from a trout and it will unravel real quickly without that wire!).

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For a flashback you can tie in a piece of mylar or any other flashy material. Otherwise tie in a small clump of pheasant tail (tips first) and 4 or 5 pieces of peacock herl, also tips first. (Tip, stroke your fingers in the opposite direction on the peacock herl, this will fluff up the barbs and make for a more fuzzy thorax. Then twist the herl a few times to make a sort of rope to help strenghten them). Take about 3-4 wraps of the peacock herl leving a bit of room behind the eye of the hook for your legs and head. Tie the herl down and then pull the flashback or tail fibers over the back of the herl and tie in.

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Lastly, take about 4-6 pheasant tail fibers and tie them in on either side of the fly for legs. If you're frustrated about getting them even you can trim them to get a uniform size or just tie in a single clump on the bottom of the fly to make it look like it's crawling on the bottom (I've done both with success, I don't think the fish really notice!)

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And there you have it! Tight lines!



Erika Forsythe

Avid Huntress

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