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Easy Pheasant Tail Nymph

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Jcb68



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Posted 24 September 2018 - 12:51 PM

Hi All I am going to start tying my first Easy Pheasant Tail Nymph and was looking at any suggestions on hook size.

I have seen several videos and their suggestions on hook size are 14-18. 

How about Daiichi 1180 #10  or even a #8?

Thank you

#2 Flicted


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Posted 24 September 2018 - 12:58 PM

How big are the naturals?  Although 12-20 would probably be the most common that you will see, you can tie them on any size hook but you will have to adjust your proportions.  If you are tying it for the first time, you might start on a size 12 or 14 and then work your way smaller as you get the hang of it. 


Although originally designed to represent Baetis, it could pass for other nymphs as well.  Bigger than normal nymphs do catch fish. 

#3 tjm


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Posted 24 September 2018 - 05:34 PM

I am not sure what you are tying, "Easy..." doesn't ring a beel or me as the name of a pattern, but generally you can go as big or small as suits you and as the materials can be adapted to.

some PTNs that I am familiar with may help, idk.



Sawyers phaesant tail; Intended to be very thin and sparse and sink like rock, these use 3-5 fibers/flues of feather and extremely fine copper wire.

I used to tie a lot of pheasant tails (with wire taken from a small transformer per Sawyer's book)- my observation, and it is worth all it costs; the fibers in all the pheasant feathers I have seen are too small to tie well on #12  and too big to look right on #20, to my eye.

As the hooks get bigger or smaller the wire diameter does also, if the hook wire is significantly larger than the individual fiber neither  the tail nor the fuzziness of the abdomen will look in proportion and the same happens if the fiber is  much larger than the hook.

The fibers won't be long enough to complete the tail, the body and the wing case on larger flies either, so you will need more than 4 fibers and have to splice some in as you go. I have never actually seen the very fine wire that he used in stores either. My best size was tied #16 hooks.


Hans Weilenmann in this video says they (his variant)  can be #10 to #28-


A soft hackle version with peacock in 10-20  (which if tied with out a tail works as caddis, imo)




The Al Troth peacock  version can be tied from 10 to 22 and fat or skinny. It is designed to use several times as much pheasant and calls for a splice between tail and body with a third bunch used for the wing case over peacock. 


I haven't tied or used these.

There is a beadhead version of this that I bought and tried, it did not get much interest in my water.

#4 flytire


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Posted 24 September 2018 - 05:45 PM

hook -your favorite and size

thread - brown

tail -pheasant tail fibers

ribbing - copper wire

body - pheasant tail fibers

thorax -peacock herl


boom done go fishing

Some of the worst car accidents happen on the showroom floor

#5 Philly


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Posted 24 September 2018 - 06:51 PM

I think this is what flytire is talking about.  It's pretty much how I tie my PT Nymphs.  Normally, I do mine as soft hackles.


Attached File  P2060124 (2).JPG   116.34KB   0 downloads


These are on the small size.  One tied on a size 18 TMC 2488, the other on a size 18 TMC 101



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#6 Tom Cummings

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 06:51 PM

PTNs are quite easy. Tarchers and Sawyers are a little harder but once you get proportions down both of those gets easy as well. I have done both and materials to correctly tie sawyers is a hard hunt. The wire usually is brighter or darker than the pheasant so you end up adjusting the pheasant to color match the wire. As for sizing I tie 14 - 18 for my use but 12 - 20 is the range recommended depending on local hatch size. Also note the hatch color and try to closely match that as well.

#7 Poopdeck


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Posted 24 September 2018 - 06:59 PM

I like simple and less gear to carry. Generally, I tie my PT's and hares ear on size 16 hooks. Size is vastly overrated while weight is under appreciated. When I feel I need heavier I will use a 14 otherwise most times it's a 16. Please note, I am a part time amateur hobbyist trout fishermen. Other opinions may vary.

#8 Jcb68



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Posted 25 September 2018 - 09:30 AM

Thank - You All for the responses Very Helpful!!!