Pheasant Tail Nymph Materials
Well, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a pic of the materials that you'll need to tie up the Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN) pattern.
It's pretty straightforward.
[Click on the pic if you want to see an enlarged version.]
I've pictured the hook that I plan to use; a Daiichi 1560 nymph hook, in 4 different sizes. I plan to tie on the #12s because it's easier to see the individual steps in an SBS when the pattern is tied on a larger hook, but it's a great pattern all the way down to a #18 or a #20.
Part of the beauty of this pattern is that the tail, the abdomen, the legs and the shellback are all made from the same material; pheasant tail.
The thorax is peacock herl. I've shown strung herl in the pic, but I prefer to use herl that's still on the feather, since you usually get better herl that way and you can pick the herl size that works best for both the hook and the pattern.
The rib is counter-wound copper wire. I use UTC small wire. In some places the pattern is tied with a copper wire thorax, instead of the peacock herl. I think that this is particularly true across the pond, so maybe one of our UK tie-along members could show us what this pattern looks like tied up that way.
I tie the pattern with weight added to the hook. But, that's strictly optional and is not a necessary ingredient in the basic PTN pattern.
I'm using Danville Flymaster 6/0 brown thread, but the choice of thread is up to you.
I'm not going to tie this pattern as a beadhead, but if someone wants to show us what it looks like with a beadhead, then that would be great. Frankly the beadhead version probably outsells the basic pattern by at least 2:1; maybe 10:1
I'll start the PTN SBS before December 1st, because I know that a lot of you are ready to start tying now. It'll probably be right after the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
After that, you can all start posting and dicsussing your tyes and we'll see what kind of variety is possible with this very basic, but very effective, pattern that comes to us from Frank Sawyer, who fished the Wiltshire Avon in the UK and who wrote the book: "Nymphs and the Trout", in 1958.