By richard adeney, Mar 14 2020 10:19AM
The pheasant tail nymph is perhaps one of the easiest flies to tie. In its simplest form it consists of the hurls from the tail of the cock pheasant and copper wire. This original pattern was devised by the renowned river keeper on the Upper Avon Frank Sawyer. He devised this pattern to imitate the nymph stage of an up-wing may fly. In the clear waters of the Upper Avon in Hampshire he was able to cast this fly to individual fish. Since the introduction of this fly in the late 1950’s it has spawned a great number of children. Today it is rarely used in its original form.
Frank Sawyer Pattern
Hook: 14 or smaller
Tail: Cock Pheasant Tail herl
Under body: fine copper wire. Originally from the windings of an electric motor. The under body is formed so that there is a pronounced bulge at the eye end of the hook to represent the thorax of the nymph.
Over body: Cock Pheasant Tail herl wound over all the copper wire under body.
Rib: Copper wire
This nymph is tied without the use of a tying thread.
Method: Secure the hook into the fly tying vice and then form the under body of fine copper wire. It is important to leave a long tail of wire at the bend to form the rib. Select a bunch of Cock Pheasant Tail herl and tie in at the bend of the hook to form both the tail and body. Wind the herl round the copper wire and form the body of the nymph. Secure just behind the thorax. Rib the body with the copper wire tail and secure. Now form the thorax with the remaining Cock Pheasant Tail herl. Secure and form a head with the copper wire.