When English riverkeeper Frank Sawyer first tied his Pheasant Tail Nymph more than 60 years ago, he surely didn’t envision this kind of development. The advent of chemically sharpened barbless jig hooks, which gained popularity in European competition angling, allows tiers to reinvent classic patterns. In this video, Tim Flagler, of Tightline Productions, walks you through the process of tying the Euro Nymph version of the venerable PT, and as usual, he offers some tricks—for blending dubbing, breaking wire, and splitting thread for dubbing—that you’ll find useful beyond this specific fly.
Pheasant Tail Euro Nymph
Hook: Trout Legend Model J, size 14.
Head: Black slotted tungsten bead, 3mm.
Thread: Fluorescent orange, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Tail: Medium Pardo Coq de Leon fibers.
Rib: Copper Ultra Wire, small.
Body: Dyed dark-brown pheasant tail fibers.
Thorax/legs: Dubbing blend—2 parts gray-squirrel fur to 1 part
Hot spot: Tying thread.
Adhesive: Head cement.
7 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie the Pheasant Tail Euro Nymph”
Thanks for such clear and concise directions and demonstrations. I’ll be trying this tie soon. Please keep the education coming, I’ very got a lot to learn.
Does anyone have any resources they can recommend for harvesting & preparing natural fly tying materials such as the squirrel hair used in this dubbing? I’m a hunter as well as a fly fisherman & would like to honor the game I take by using as much of them as possible, and not just the meat. I’ve already got one deer for the season here & am looking to get a few more. I also typically have the opportunity to take an assortment of water fowl, dove, turkey, squirrel, raccoon, coyote etc… I’ve Googled this info for a while with little to no avail. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks! And thanks again for these awesome videos.
Jack, their Vimeo channel, Tightline Productions is amazing & has some earlier videos before they started appearing on this blog.
Can you explain the advantage of using a jig hook for this nymph? I know how they can use in stillwater angling, but to use the PT in streams tied on a jig hook makes me wonder if the nymph will be properly presented to the fish.
Hi, Clint. The jig hook makes the fly drift hook-upward, which makes it less likely to snag on the bottom, especially when there’s a lot of leaf litter. Plus, you can give the fly a rising-and-falling action.
I’m tying this PT on a #14 Syndicate jig hook with a 2.8 mm Hareline slotted bead. When I move the bead forward, the slot covers the eye of the hook. If I turn the slot around, the bead is stuck at the bend of the slot. Is the bead too big or the hook too small? I even tried building up a black thread dam in front of the eye but that didn’t work too well. Thanks.
I am not familiar with either the hook or the bead you are using but with slotted beads, the slot should always point rearward (away from the eye) on the hook. Sometimes, the bead will get hung up at the bend but simply by rotating it around the shank a half a turn, it will go around the bend and rest directly behind the hook eye. If this doesn’t work, maybe try a larger bead on that particular hook. 2.8 mm sounds a bit small for a size 14 hook to me. Hope this helps.
Everything else the same except Olive pheasant tail, and olive brown hares ear plus for thorax makes a ballin’ early season olive nymph