Tying Instructions: Pheasant Tail Nymph

1. Attach a hook to the vise. I am using a size 16, TMC 3761 nymph hook. Wrap a small copper wire behind the eye of the hook crossing over the tag end to lock the wire to the shank.
Step One
2. Wrap the wire creating a thorax bulge just in front of the midpoint of the shank and a smooth abdomen to the bend of the hook. Frank Sawyer would trim off the tag end near the bend of the hook. I trimmed it near the thorax.
Step Two
3. Clip about 4-6 fibers from a Pheasant Tail. Select a section in which the tips are light in color and the dark area is further down the fibers. Separate the fibers and even the tips.
Step Three
4. Attach the fiber tips to the bend of the hook creating a tail that is about an eighth of an inch on a size 16 hook. Two tight wraps will hold the fibers in place.
Step Four
5. Wrap the fibers around the wire creating a rope. The tail was uplifted in the photo due to the weight of the hackle pliers when taking this photo. The fibers will be back in their horizontal position once I start wrapping the fibers arouind the abdomen.
Step Five
6. Wrap the fibers with the copper wire core evenly up the abdomen and over the thorax areas. Note how the color of the abdomen is light than the thorax. The darker thorax represents a maturing nymph. I do not have enough Pheasant Tail fibers to complete a wingcase, so I will secure the tag ends behind the eye and attach more fibers for a wingcase.
Step Six
7. Select 4-5 more fibers and attach the fibers in front of the thorax with a couple of wire wraps.
Step Seven
8. Bring the wire to the rear of the thorax and secure the wingcase fibers with one wrap.
Step Eight
9. Bring the wire to the front of the thorax and secure the wingcase with one wrap. This provides an ample wingcase covering to top of the thorax. Frank Sawyer would often do this procedure a third time, finishing the fly behind the thorax with a whip finish of the wire. Trim off the tag ends of the fibers.
Step Nine
10. The rest of Frank's family preferred to finish behind the eye of the hook and this is how I finished as well. Wrap a small head with the wire and secure with a couple of half hitches. You can also whip finish but that creates a larger head.
Step Ten
11. This is the finished fly pattern using the techniques of Frank Sawyer. Frank did not create leg appendages nor did he use any more materials than copper wire and Pheasant Tail fibers. However, these two materials create a depth and translucency to the pattern.
Step Eleven

©2015 Steve Schalla
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