Another wee adaptation on the simple but deadly Pheasant Tail Nymph I showed recently, and although very similar it helps to illustrate how small simple changes can create a completely different attraction and trigger points to any existing pattern.

I’ve used Glister thread on this pattern as it’s a lot more versatile than plain pearl lurex, gives a more subtle pearl ‘flash’ on the rib as well as being perfect for the sparkle addition to the tail helping represent an emerging nymph as it tumbles its way through running water, or ascending through the levels if used in a Stillwater.

The tungsten bead on the pattern tied is 3.3mm which gives an excellent fast sinking pattern, ideal for days when the fish are sitting deep, or helping you get to the river bed quickly when exploring those fast white water bits, which is to me, the most exciting and rewarding way to fish nymphs.  It’s also how I generally encounter our migrating species, which always results in vast excitement and mayhem, sadly often resulting in a broken tippet and / or a soaking from falling in chasing the thing back out the rushing water in a vain bid to gain some degree of control.

However you don’t need to go as big, or as heavy with this fly equally as effective right down to size 18 and beads down to a tiny 1.5mm, alternatively (especially for Stillwater use) you might want to change the tungsten bead for a brass one (which doesn’t sink as quickly and gives the chance to fish the fly at a more controlled depth during the retrieve) or perhaps with no weight on it at all (excellent small / mobile just sub-surface emerging nymph)

Excellent fished ‘Klink n Dink’ style or behind an indicator, equally as good however fished in a team of nymphs ‘French Leader’ style or even as a tail fly swung across and down, the general interpretation shape, size and colour certainly catches the fish’s attention.

As the humble PTN is so effective everywhere you fish it then no angler should be without a selection in their armoury.

Hook; K5AS Egg / Caddis Heavy size 10 - 16
Bead; Copper, Silver or Gold Tungsten bead from 1.5mm to 4.0mm depending on hook size and overall fly profile
Thread; Black Uni 8/0
Tail / Rib; Pearl Micro Glint Thread (Veniards)
Tail / Body; Cock Pheasant Tail fibres
Thorax; Medium brown ‘Glister’ well picked out.

Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Place bead on hook, hook in vice and catch in thread

Step 2 Cut two sections of pearl Micro Glint thread, line up tips.

Step 3 Catch in the Glister thread leaving tail at desired length, fold down rib and tie down towards tail with thread.

Step 4 Take small bunch of pheasant tail (approx.. 4 strands), tie in tail same length as Glister thread then return thread towards bead, forming tapered body as you go.

Step 5 Complete tapered body ensuring bead sits just tight against thread to leave room for thorax, twist pheasant tail into 'rope' and wind up forming body

Step 6 Rib fly in open turns with Micro Glint thread.

Step 7 Tie all off, form a whip finish, place varnish on thread and whip finish again to secure the fly

Step 8 Whilst varnish still wet form sparse dubbing 'rope' with brown Glister and form thorax before final whip finish to secure the fly

Step 9 Pick out the thorax dubbing material to give the desired 'buggy' effect.

Allan Liddle

Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years. Allan’s love of fly tying spans almost thirty years and has been a regular at many tying demonstrations and work shops prior to, and since joining the Partridge Pro-Team in 2013.

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