Every fly angler has tied on a pheasant tail nymph at one time or another. If you have not, you should. The pheasant tail nymph is a fly that has a long history in fly fishing. Versatile, this fly can be used in a broad spectrum of watersheds across America, and yes, even in Alaska. We need them a little bigger. That’s where Tyler’s Big Pheasant Tail comes in.
Usually, you’ll find a pheasant tail nymph ranging from a size 20 up to a size 12. Tyler has introduced the use of a size eight hook and gets creative with colors.
Fishing nymphs is fun, and this nymph is no exception. It sinks relatively fast and is an easier tie, well…because it’s bigger. The nice thing about this particular nymph is the longer wings allow it to be fished on the swing. Traditionally or on the swing, no matter how you fish it, it is an effective pattern, so give it a swing.
Designed by: Tyler Balich
Photos, Tie, and Instructions by Mike Brown of Mossy’s Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska.
- Hook: Firehole 609 Sz 8
- Beadhead: 1/8 or 5/32 Copper Bead Head (you can use any color or style)
- Lead Wire: .025 or .030
- Tail: Pheasant Tail Tips
- Body: Pheasant Tail
- Rib: Copper Wire BR
- Thorax: Ice Dub UV Purple (you can use any color of choice)
- Wing Case: Pheasant Tail
- Wings: Pheasant tail tips
- Thread: Veevus 8/0 Orange
Step 1. Slide your bead on the hook and place it in the vice.
Step 2. Wrap your lead wire around the shank 4-6 turns, then slide it into the bead head.
Step 3. Start your thread behind the lead wire and then secure the lead down and run your thread to the start of the bend.
Step 4. Using appx ¼ width of Pheasant tail, with tips out as the tail, tie it down to the shank. You want to make your tail appx ¼ to ½ inch.
Step 5. Tie in your copper wire, and then run your thread forward. Leave appx 1/8” of a gap behind the beadhead.
Step 6. Use appx ½” width of pheasant tail, trim of ends, and tie in for your body and wing. This is where you will adjust for the length of your wings. Tie in with tips to the back.
Step 7. Take your pheasant tail and wrap it forward. You can use your finger to flatten the feather as you wrap. This will let you cover the shank better. Wrap the feather to where you stop your thread. Tie off but do not trim.
Step 8. Counter wrap your copper wire, with spacing between wraps, up to your thread. Tie off and trim the wire.
Step 9. Fold the pheasant tip back and tie them down.
Step 10. Build your dubbing thorax
Step 11. Pull the pheasant tips forward and secure them down behind the bead. This forms your wing casing.
Step 12. Split the tips evenly and tie them down on each side, forming your wings. Build a small thread collar, whip finish, and done.
Other Trout Flies to Tie: