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Poll: Pheasant Tail Nymphs what variations do you use most?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    SF Bay area California

    Default Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    So I have some fresh Pheasant Tail feathers and am getting ready to tie some Pheasant Tail nymphs up. I am considering what variations of this nymph to tie. There are many variations and I thought heck we have not had a poll in awhile. I chose 6 generic varieties although I am sure there are more, was wondering what variations people use the most. I know I have more of the American variety and bead head variety than any other but, was hoping to gain some more insight in to what others are using and why. I am intrigued by the simplicity of the original Frank Sawyer tie that just uses a hook, wire and Pheasant Tail fibers (no thread and no peacock herl.) I realize that the Frenchie is kind of a similar tie so I might try my hand at those too.

    Love to see what others are tying/using and their reasons for the style they use. (you can have multiple answers.


    Tim C.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    I would say that a common variation is the flashback PT.



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Broomfield, Co
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    Franks Flashy version, no recipe on line but there are photos and our own PT explains how he ties them


    My go to nymph for spring and early summer
    "The fish you're gonna find up here, you're gonna find; Rainbow,Cuttbow,CuttBrowns,Brownbows,RainBrowns,
    CuttyRainbrowns, Pike ,Perch"

    "Snap it" Hank Patterson

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Richmond, VA

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    Tungsten Jig Frenchie is my sub for PTs. You can do it with a variety of dubbing and hot spots. I like FL. Orange and Red. With UV shrimp pink ice dub and UV tan ice dub. You can even add a strip of flash. I think I'll some with a flash back now.


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  8. #5

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    I voted Sawyer and "other," the other being a pheasant tail soft hackle.

    Adding herl and tying with thread instead of wire misses the whole point of the fly, which is to be a slim, but weighted nymph.

    If I want appendages, I'll use a hackle collar.

    I never use beads any more.

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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    There are lots of pheasant tail variations in the above linked catalogue. My favorite is the Delectable Rootbeer Float Yellow (the last fly on p.13). It's a floating softhackle that fishes well when fish are feeding on emergers Or floating nymphs early in a pmd hatch. Fish it when fish can be seen feeding just under the surface bug there are no bugs visible on the surface. Present it to a riser dead drift hanging in the film or grease it and fish it as a dry.

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  12. #7

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    I voted "other".

    The addition of rubber legs to a BH PT increases their effectiveness here in my Texas ponds easily by 10x. The big bluegills can't resist those rubber legs
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    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

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  14. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Los Angeles, CA / Pullman, WA

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    This pattern, which is a Sawyer Variant, has worked well for me:

    I don't have a photo of one, but a PT tied like Silver's version above - tied with a Silver Firefly wing case in #20, took some really nice fish for me right here about 6AM in the morning one August day:

    Daughter to Father, " How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

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  16. #9

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    Looks like a picture from Fly Fisherman magazine. Beautiful.

    The subtle variations to the old reliable pheasant tail nymph catch fish. One more than another? That's debatable.

    I've swung a hot bead flash back pheasant tail in size 4 and caught mucho Steelhead. It's one of my preferred is my personal favorite.

    We all should keep in mind that we owe all our glory to the original pattern from Frank Sawyer..


    TYING THE PTN TO THE ORIGINAL PATTERN - TomSutcliffe - The Spirit of Fly Fishing

    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

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  18. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Snake, Clearwater and tribs

    Default Re: Pheasant Tail Nymph variations (poll)

    Wow, some nice patterns! I am not a big user of nymphs but I must tie 6 or 7 variations of the PT (and WD40). About every combination of nymph hook, scud hook, peacock, flashback, weighted, unweighted for the film, beadheads, sizes 10 to 20. What a great pattern.

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