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Pheasant Tail Nymph

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Hook: Ashima F40 sizes 14 and 16
Silk: Camel Unithread 8/0
Weighting: copper wire doubled at the thorax and a single layer for the rest of the abdomen
Tail: Pheasant tail fibres (only three or four)
Rib: Copper wire
Wing cover: Pheasant Tail fibre


Start with putting on the silk and tying loosely down to where the thorax will start when you come back from the tail. Tie in two strands of very fine copper wire and wind this in touching level turns up to just short of the head position - remembering that you have some bulk to tie in here eventually. Then take the copper wire back over itself giving a double layer until the bare hook is met. Here continue to lay the copper wire down in touching flat turns to the rear. Leave the wire below the hook and bring your silk back to the tail position in loose turns.

Tie in the fibres for the tail (keep it short!) and then lay the pheasant tail fibre up to the thorax, fixing it there with a few turns, and leaving the ends away from you on the far side of the hook. Put on the rib in three open turns, secure and trim off. Now tie in five or six more pheasant tail fibres with the butt over the thorax. Take the ends of the abdomen fibres and wrap carefully around the thorax (one or two turns only) and secure them at the head.
Finally pull the second lot of fibres forward, keeping them flat, and tie them off as well. Trim all pheasant tail fibre, and finish off.


This is one of the flies that will never go out of fashion - whatever the time of year, whatever the fish you are after. Larger version catch salmon and seatrout, the 14s and 16s catch both trout and grayling. As it is weighted it often fishes well on the point of a cast of there or four flies, and it always does its job.

You can also tie it more lightly in sizes 18 and 20 on Ashima F15 hooks, and just rib it with the copper, then fish it on a dropper with an attractor on the point.

Tied by David Westwood.

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