Pheasant Tail Nymph

Pheasant Tail Nymph Pattern

Pheasant Tail Nymph Recipe


Hook - TMC 2488 - 12


Feather - Pheasant tail fibers


Feather - Pheasant tail fibers


Wire - Uni wire - XS


Feather - Peacock Herl

Wing case:

Feather - Pheasant tail fibers


Thread - Uni Thread - Brown - 6/0

Recipe By
Jay VerHelst

About the Pheasant Tail Nymph

Still as good as it was back in the day and will continue to be in every trout guides box across the USA! Pheasant Tail Nymphs are a easy to tie yet super effective fly when nymphing. Tie them up in sizes 12-20 and you will be ready for most rivers. I often choose this fly when exploring new water and not seeing much activity on the waters surface and not wanting to disturb the river bottom yet to find out what food source is hanging out down below.

How to tie the Pheasant Tail Nymph

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 1
Step 1: Set Up

Insert hook into vise and start your thread base. Wrap thread back to the down angle of the hook bend.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 2
Step 2: Tie in tail

Select 6-8 tail fibers off your Pheasant tail and tie them in so only a small amount is off the tips are off the back of the hook.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 3
Step 3: Tie in rib material

Cut 1.5-2 inches of uni wire off the spool and tie it in with the same wraps used to tie in your pheasant tail. This will be used as your ribbing on the abdomen.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 4
Step 4: Advance thread

Advance your thread with wraps just past the half way point of the hook shank.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 5
Step 5: Build abdomen

Collect all the Pheasant tail fibers between your fingers and wrap them forward and tie them in where you ended your thread advancement.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 6
Step 6: Ribbing

Wrap the Uni wire forward leaving space between wraps to create a rib and tie in the same place you tied in your pheasant tail fibers. Cut off excess wire but not the Pheasant tail fibers. You will need those for the wing case.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 7
Step 7: Wing case

Lay the Pheasant tail fibers back flat against the hook shank and give 2 wraps of the thread to keep them in place.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 8
Step 8: Thorax

Tie in 2-3 strands of Peacock herl from the base of the herl. The tips are very brittle so the bases are the best to tie with. Advance your thread to behind the hook eye.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 9
Step 9: Thorax cont.

Wrap peacock herl forward with consecutive wraps and tie in behind the hook eye with a few thread wraps. Cut off excess Peacock herl.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 10
Step 10: Wing case

Select all of the remaining Pheasant tail fibers and pinch them together and lay them on top of the Peackock herl. Tie them in with a few tight thread wraps.

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 11
Step 11: Legs

Divide the Pheasant tail tips in half and fold each down one side of the hook shank to create a ā€œVā€ shape (Picture)

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 12
Step 12: Trim Legs

Trim Pheasant tail fibers you just folded back so they are just as long as the thorax

Tying Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step 13
Step 13: Finish

Whip finish the fly behind the hook eye and cut off tag end of the thread. Cast to trout, enjoy!