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John Desjardins 03-27-2003 03:02 PM

Pheasant tail nymph - an old standby
This is one of my favorites. Its simple to tie, easy to modify & effective.

Hook: Tmc 3761 #16
Thread: brown #8/0
Bead(optional): glass or metal
Tail: Pheasant tail or biot
Body: Pheasant tail
Rib(optional): gold embroidery thread
Thorax: Peacock herl

Wrap a neat underlay of thread on the hook, if a rib is esired tie it in now. Then layer 3 thread wraps on top of each other to tie the pheasant tail in as the tail. Wrap the thread and then the pheasant tail 2/3'rds of the way to the eye. tie off the pheasant tail on the bottom of the hook and then pull it up like post 90 degrees to the top of the hookand add a couple of wraps to hold it in place. Counterwrap the rib if one is used and tie it off. Tie in the peacock herl for the thorax wrap forward then tie it off. Fold the pheasant tail over the top of the peacock to form a wing case and tie it down. Now you can either cut off the remainder of the tail, fold it down on both sides of the hook like a beard or fold it out to the sides.

Other ways to modify this fly are to use foam for the wing case which makes the fly an emerger, add lead weight as an underbody for a deep sinking fly or use partridge feathers for a beard.

With a bead

Without the bead

Or a whole batch of them

SDHflyfisher 03-27-2003 03:57 PM

yours look different then how i learned
tail body and thorax same
rib fine gold wire
when i tie in the wing case i leave the tip of the pheasant tail out and pull them back at the end to form the legs

Adrian 03-27-2003 10:08 PM

One of my all time favorites and one which has probably undergone as many variants as any fly created.

The original was tied by Frank Sawyer, a river keeper on the Wiltshire Avon.

His materials were:

Hook: #12-#24, 2XL Round or Perfect bend

Thread/weight: fine dark colored (enamelled) copper wire

Tail/abdomen/thorax/wingcase: red/brown fibers from a cock pheasant center tail feather, to match the copper wire in color. Some writers insist that only the center tail feather will yield the correct quality of fibres.

Simple, elegant and absolutely deadly ;)

John Desjardins 03-28-2003 11:33 AM

Sean, I think that we are pretty close. I tend to tie cripples by design. No lazyness is a better reason.

Adrian interesting you should note the feather qualities. I worked my way up from the base on a single feather tying these and noticed a difference in the web of the fly between early flys & later. The fly without the bead was the last fly I tied versus the one with a bead which was earlier.

I don't know why but I've always had trouble these using the copper wire in Sawyers original. I should try it again because it would be a simpler tie.

SDHflyfisher 03-28-2003 11:49 AM

to my knowledge the english version uses PT as the thorax also

Adrian 03-28-2003 11:49 AM

I had similar trouble with only copper wire rather than trad. thread. The problem seems to be its tendency to stiffen up under any kind of torque when winding which is difficult to avoid. Maybe something to do with the quality of the wire? Still, a very "neet" minimalist concept :smokin:

John Desjardins 03-28-2003 12:11 PM

Your right Sean.

Mean Mr Mustard 06-01-2003 05:19 PM

Gentlemen, an OUTSTANDING fly!

Yesterday I used the Orvis American PT Nymph and was easily King for the day (very unusual for me) on the lake. My nearest competitor and usual King of the Lake (the float tuber w/fish finder) caught 3 fish to my 9, 7 using the PT nymph. Awesome pattern. Awesome day.:smokin:

Gonna spend the week tying up a bunch after my single one got shredded.


P.S. And that is the last of my bragging. Well until I get my first summer steel!:hehe:

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