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Old 01-31-2010, 07:22 AM
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Default Pheasant Tails

Hello. Just practicing tying pheasant tail nymphs and it raised a few questions about my materials. I have a 'natural' pheasant tail clump from cabelas. I notice in most of the instructional photo sets (whether on the net or in books) the tail fibers they use seem to have different qualities. First, they appear to be a good bit longer, sometimes using the initial fiber tie in to tie the tail, body, wing case, and legs. My longest fibers (on a size 14 hook) can do the tail and body, maybe wingcase, but not with nearly enough left over for legs etc. Second, their fibers seem to behave differently in that they splay naturally. In the photos, the tail fibers are all splayed out once tied in, and look great. Same with their legs. The fibers I tie in all kind of stick together and look like one wimpy tail fiber. I'm wondering if it is quality of materials or something I'm doing wrong. I also have all sorts of issues with proportions body / thorax.. but that I think will come with practice. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

---------- Post added at 08:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:14 AM ----------

an observation i should've made before... but fibers from one side of the feather behave different than the other... different uses for each side?
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Pheasant Tails

Any time I can buy natural stuff like feathers and hair in person I do. Not all pheasent tails are the same some come from younger birds or are just not as large or good as other birds. If you can look at diffrenet pieces often you can find a better piece.
Bear
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Pheasant Tails

There may be a way to splay them perfectly every time but I've found sometimes they splay well and sometimes not.
There are a couple of tricks that I was taught but don't use often. One is build a thread ball at the bend of the hook. Therory is PT fibers will splay off the thread ball. Another (and I do use this for most tailing) is to hold the tail fibers up after the initial tie-in as you tie them down.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Pheasant Tails

Are they off a cock pheasent hen tail feathers are like this
when you tie pts you should use the long feathers 20" long and nice rich brown fibers
the legs are the tips of the fibers (new fibers are tied in).
it should make no diffrence which side of the feather you use.

Chris
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Pheasant Tails

Zman-

The barbs at the base of the pheasant tail will be the longest so you might look there to see if hat will work-- but sometimes you might need to tie in 2 bunches- one for the tail and body, and another bunch for the thorax, wing case, and legs.. on size 12 or 14 hooks especially if they're 2xl nymph hooks.

Feel free to post pics of your flies too if you want some constructive feedback.

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