Pheasant Tail Nymph

This classic nymph pattern uses pheasant tail fibers to form its tailing, body, wing case, and legs. Gold ribbing helps to simulate a segmented body while adding a little flash. Pearlescent peacock herl finishes out the fly. It can be weighted with a lead wire underbody over the thorax area.

  • Nymph
  • Mayfly
  • Normal
  • Trout
  • Panfish
  • Submitted By: Fly Tying Guide
Place the hook in the vise and secure the thread behind the eye. Form a even under body along the shank of the hook, position the thread at the start of the bend.
Snip 5 to 8 pheasant tail fibers and align the fiber tips. Secure the fibers to form a tail the length of one hook gap with 2-3 wraps but do not advance the thread.
Fold the fibers back and secure by wrapping in the same location. Tie in the ribbing material at the start of the bend and cover its tag end with thread to the midpoint of the shank. If the ribbing material extends beyond the midpoint of the shank, trim the excess.
Wrap the pheasant tail fibers along the shank to form the body, secure at the midpoint of the shank. Wrap the ribbing material forward in the opposite direction that the feather fibers were wrapped. Secure the ribbing material and trim any excess.
If the remaining feather fibers are too short to form the wing case, snip 5 to 8 pheasant tail fibers and tie in directly in front of the body, otherwise fold back the feather fibers and secure similar to how the tail was done.
Tie in 2 or 3 strands of peacock herl in front of the body for the thorax. You can also tie in a length of thread if you have any issues with the herl breaking while trying to wrap.
Twist the herl to form a rope and then form a thorax. Leave room to secure the wing case and form a head with thread. Secure and trim any excess herl.
Fold the wing case over the thorax and secure it, clip off the excess.
Tie in 3 pheasant tail barbs on each side of the thorax to form the legs, the tips of the barbs should extend just past the thorax. Snip off the excess.
Form a small head with thread covering any remaining tag ends, whip finish and apply head cement.
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