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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The pheasant tail nymph was originally designed and tied by Frank Sawyer, MBE, who fished the Wiltshire Avon. Sawyer's book 'Nymphs and the Trout', 1958, describes his original recipe and tying method. The PTN was one of a number of simple and effective patterns he developed.

The pheasant tail nymph (PTN) is used to represents a wide range of aquatic insect larvae and can even be used to imitate fish fry. It's useful on still water and running water for targetting numerous species though originally it was dressed for trout in the River Avon. The PTN is especially good at representing darker species and is considered an especially good match for the nymph of the Blue-winged Olive. On a 2X hook shank it works well as a stonefly. To imitate lighter nymphs you might do better with a Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear.

How to fish
In still water present the PTN using a slow hand-twist or use a wind drift. In running water use standard nymph tactics (drag free drift, rising nymph, wetfly swing).

Materials needed
Hook - Any standard nymph or wet fly hook,
Thread - 6/0 brown
Tail - Pheasant Tail
Rib - Medium Gold wire
Body - Pheasant
Wingcase - Pheasant
Thorax - Peacock Herl

Step 1:
put you hook in the vise and attach tying thread at the rear of the hook

Step 2:
attach a clump of pheasant tail fibers with the tips as a tail, dont cut off waste, fold it back as this will become your body on the fly


Step 3:
attach a few inch's of gold wire for your ribbing later

Step 4:
wrap the pheasant tail section up 3/4 up the hook for the body

Step 5:
counter wrap the ribbing material over the pheasant so it protects the pheasant from breaking, 4-5 wraps should suffice

Step 6:
attach another clump of pheasant for the wing case facing the rear of the hook

Step 7:
attach 3-4 strands of peacock herl to the fly

Step 8:
to reinforce the peacock herl and to make a durable fly , i wrap the few strands of peacock herl around the thread a a bunch of times to make like rope of peacock herl and thread

Step 9:
than now wrap the peacock herl around the thorax of the fly

Step 10:
pull the wingcase over the thorax and secure it firmly too the head of the hook

Step 11:
cut off the access wingcase, whip finish, head cement, and go catch fish :cheers:

here are a couple variations of pheasant tail nymph's i like too do,

history, use's and how to courtosy of http://www.flyfishersrepublic.com/patterns/pheasant-tail-nymph/

1,589 Posts
Great work Austin, thanks a lot.

I've got a really good book called the Masters on the Nymph. It's a great read. Interestingly enough, as early as 1910, fly fishing was only really considered fly fishing if one used a dry fly presentation. Nymphing was considered poor form. I'm not sure enough was known back then about a trouts diet, and that roughly 90% of a trouts intake is sub surface.

Great writ up Austin, love the history of flies.

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