Monday, 6 February 2012

Some pheasant tails

I have a date with the Test in a few weeks time and it should definitely be illegal to do so without some of Sawyer's famous nymphs, well atleast variants thereof.

I have started the tying with his pheasant tails, I presonally like my nymphs small and heavy so have added beads to some and all are small(ish) size 16-18 although I have tied them down to a 22 with a 1mm bead in case they are needed.

Most are fairly self explanatory, they are simply wire and pheasant tail with a bead thrown in. No thread needed for Sawyer's flies, simple and durable and amazingly effective. Number 4 is a small version of the traditional fly. 1, 3 and 5 are beaded olive versions (obviously) which are nice and easy to see in clear water and good for sight fishing on the chalk.

The big ugly last one is a creation of my own, the pheasant tail is wrapped up to the thread thorax and then secured with wire, the thorax is then built up and remaining pheasant tails are brought forward again secured and bent back for legs. Takes a while to get the length right but the result is a pretty good nymph.


Would be interested to see anyone elses pheasant tails, if anyone is inclined to share.


  1. Nice flies Dan. Particularly like 2 and 6 although I think 6 would be better if it had a red/pink/orange thorax rather than green! I fished the stretch of the Test you will be on soon on Saturday. Bit chilly (-10 when I arrived!) but a good day, probably had around 20 good sized Grayling. Lots around 1.75lbs!

  2. A very nice set of flies. I also think it's good to have a fly in various sizes and shapes for any occasion. Furthermore with The Pheasant Tail you can't be wrong. This reminds me of the late 70'ties when I was using a hand vice tying like a hundred PT watching TV. I still have them and the one I caught my first good sized Brown Trout on earned it's place in my Wheatley Hall of Fame.

    Have fun trying them out,

  3. Cheers guys, they are classics and everyone should have some.

    You need to get away from that pink fetish Nick mate, starting to worry about you.

  4. Nice Dan. I catch a lot of grayling on black beaded nymphs, avoid goldheads, Test fish see a lot of those. I know grayling are supposed to like do trout! I'd like a nymph that only catches grayling if anybody has one.