November 2012


Pheasant Tail Nymph


Presenter/Tyer:
David Smith

Hyatt's Caddis-Yellow

Pattern:
Hook: Tiemco 100 or 3761, sizes 16 through 20
Thread: Brown Uni-Thread 8/0
Rib: Ultra Wire Small Copper
Tail: Pheasant tail fibers
Body: Pheasant tail fibers
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Wing case and legs: Pheasant tail fibers
Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
  1. Attach the thread at the 75 percent point on the hook and tie in the copper wire on the near side of the hook. Tie the wire back the bend of the hook.
  2. Attach four Pheasant tail fibers to the top of the hook with two turns of thread keeping the fibers flat and not separated. Take care not to make the turns too tight or you may cut one or more of the fibers.
  3. Lift the Pheasant tail fibers with the material hand and advance the thread forward to the 75 percent point where the thread was tied on and building a slight thread body.
  4. Keeping the Pheasant tail fibers separated, wind them forward to the 75 percent point and tie them off on the top of the hook with two or three turns of thread.
  5. Take the copper wire and bring it under the tail fibers. As the wire is drawn under the tail fibers apply sufficient pressure to raise the fibers slightly and separate them. Then bring the wire straight down and then up to the near side. Make four to six turns of wire to the 75 percent point and tie off on the bottom of the hook. Make turns of wire to break it off.
  6. Take the Pheasant tail fibers with the material hand and keeping them flat and together fold them back. Secure them at the 60 percent point. Bring the thread forward to one eye length shaping a base for the thorax.
  7. Return the thread to the 60 percent point. Take four to six fine Peacock herls from near the center of the eye of the feather. Keeping them flat and separate to avoid bulk, tie on top of the hook at the 60 percent point and wind them forward to form the thorax. Tie them down at the base of the thorax with two turns of thread leaving space for the head of the fly.
  8. Take the four Pheasant tail fibers and keeping them flat and separate fold them forward and tie them off with two turns of thread forming the wing case.
  9. On the far side of the hook, take one Pheasant tail fiber and with two turns of thread tie it to the side of the thorax. On the near side of the hook take one fiber and tie it to the side of the hook with two turns of thread.
  10. Shape a small neat head and break off the two remaining Pheasant tail fibers.
  11. Trim the two Pheasant tail fibers representing the legs to a point very slightly longer than the thorax. If a rotating vise is used it may be helpful to reverse the vise.
  12. Admire the fly.
Note: These directions are adapted from Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying. It is not unusual for directions for tying a Pheasant tail nymph to involve six to nine steps. However, one of the great virtues of Charlie's book is that he goes into much greater detail and deals with subtleties that others do not include or address. His directions for tying the Pheasant Tail Nymph include 31 steps.


Photograph ©2012 by Marv Slind