The original Pheasant Tail Nymph was tied by English riverkeeper Frank Sawyer in the 1950s, and in the decades since there have been countless variations. Fly tiers can’t help but tinker with patterns that work, trying to squeeze even more trout-catching mojo out of the original.
In this great video from Tightline Productions, Tim Flagler shows you how to tie his chunky, two-tone, mottled version of the PT, which also offers some lifelike movement in the water. The ways he prepares each material and then ties it in are well-thought-out to produce a pattern that trout will love..
Phat and Phunky Pheasant Tail Nymph
Hook: 2X-long barbless nymph hook (here a Fulling Mill FM50 85), size 16.
Thread: Black, 12/0 Veevus.
Tails: Wood-duck fibers.
Rib: Copper Ultra Wire, small.
Back/wingcase: Chocolate-brown pheasant-tail fibers.
Belly: Bleached ginger pheasant-tail fibers.
Thorax/legs: Tan Zonked Pine Squirrel.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive: Sally Hansen Hard-As-Nails.
Tools: Dubbing wax, long scissors, dubbing whirl, plunger-style hackle pliers, whip-finisher.