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Now I am going to tie a Pheasant Tail Nymph. This fly is almost as -- there as the Hare's Ear name, it's a golden Hare's Ear, which is a very huge, huge classic in United States, because of its sense of being so versatile. This one as well is very versatile.
It was developed in England by a fly fisherman named Frank Sawyer to imitate Mayflies. And this is something that can be used for Mayflies or other nymphs. Pretty easy to tie, but it has got some different qualities than other flies in a sense that it's very metallic looking because of the fact that we use pheasant tail fibers. And I have right here, this is a center feather from a ringed neck pheasant.
You can see that there is some kind of almost like a sense of sparkly shininess to some of the parts of this feather, and gives it a very translucent effect in the water. So I am going to start out by actually cutting a tail from this. I have got a size 12 in this case right now, and I have got my barb already pinched down.
I am using in this one brown thread and you can go ahead and use different colors for this again. But, I am using kind of a light brown thread that's similar to the color of the pheasant tail, fibers themselves.
So I will begin by tying-in. By tying on my thread by wrapping it back over itself again, back to the bend, and I clip this off. Now, this is ribbed with a fine, in the situations a little bit larger, but it's actually about medium, medium or finest, fine. Copper wire, okay? This is copper wire just like you see that's using various engines, the ones in terms of the wrapped pieces of wire and that's really how they first got the idea of using it.
Then it is just standard wire. You can get this in different place like fly tying shops, if you have got this thing around, you can use it. But, they sell it in different size. I am going to cut this off, small piece. Before I tie that on, I am going to actually tie in my tail because if I do tie that in first, I am going to have that wrapping around my tail, I don't want to do that.
So I am going to select now some fibers from this. I need maybe about four, five. I am going to probably put in five or six though Actually, I like a little bit bushier tail on this fly. So again here I will cut that out. But, you want a relatively sparse tail on this. You don't want it to be a big thick lob.
Now you can see that, this will either turn up or I can turn it down. I am going to prefer always to have my tails kind of go up a little bit, because it gives more of a sense of movement, and it's a better silhouette. Again, the statics thing, it just looks nicer.
Flies should be about the length of the hook, or about the hook shank. And I usually say, not a little bit longer on this one because it does give more of a sense of moving this along. It gets out there, it gets more of a chance for the water to catch it and make it move.
So I am going to lay out on top of the pinch between the index and the thumb again, the loose wrap once, and then tighten. Now watch that. If you saw what just happened there, I have that catch on the tip of that hook, very often I can cut it off and it's in that bottom, rocking to the floor, and kind of angry about that if it happens over and over again. So be careful about that.
I am going to let that rest right there, there is my tail. I am going to clip off the excess there. But, I am going to save this, because I am probably going to use this piece again. I will show you what I mean by that.
When Frank Sawyer first tied this fly, he tied almost the entire fly with one or two clumps of pheasant tail. The American version which I am going to tie right now, it's a little different. They actually go and they added in some extra pieces and they actually go in, and tie it more like a traditional American nib. I will show you what I mean by that.
So I am tying in now that piece of copper wire on the side here, and get that back in the material clip, the spring, so it's out of my way. I am not going to use that for a little bit.
So before I can take these fibers, I am going to save these though actually for my wing case. To make the body, I am actually going to take some of the longest ones I can find here again, strands from this pheasant tail.
Cutting in nice and close, again I will maybe take about five or six, could be a few more on this one. I am going to tie in this bunch now into the tips first, because it gives me, if you take a look at this, almost a taper. It's thinner down towards the tip and thicker up at the front.
You can see a little bit of modeling that goes on here as well. The modeling is nice to have, spread out towards the front of the fly. So I am going to tie this in right here. Kind of tipped in the first one, once again, there is a loose wrap and then I pull tight, okay? I am going to wrap this forward.
Now, I am getting little bit of a hump here from where I had tied off my first batch of material and that wire. Not at the end of the world, but I like to fill it in a little bit before I actually go ahead and move it up.
Now, I am not putting any lead on this fly. You can do that. But, I would say that because of the materials, they are not at all pores, these are actually quite tight and they don't have any place for air bubbles to get trapped in. So you really don't need it.
It may not sink very fast. You should have copper wire on here, a heavy wire hook and non-porous material. So I usually don't weight these. You don't have to weight all your flies anyway, your nymphs, because they often are fished in more of a mid portion of the water, they don't necessarily go to the barb, especially if you are fishing flies that are actually actively moving about. You want to able to swim the fly. I am going to go back because I just noticed that I didn't pull that clip front and back, to get that section filled in, okay.
So going to it, right about again a little more than half way. Every time you start your abdomen wrapped up towards the thorax area. I am going to leave, I don't have space. I am going to grab the whole batch, and I am going to wrap them just like I would wrap dubbing for instance, and I could use my hackle pliers on this, but I have enough that I can actually hold on to it.
Nice thing that happens as now and then it starts to split. So I just twist them around my finger, so I can kind of keep them together. I keep twisting them up and so again, not any specific way it has to look, but the scruffier appearance tends to sometime be more enticing to the fish. So that's why you can make it, actually have a lot of messy kind of twists and different uneven forms you can see within that wrap.
Okay. Tie that off with a couple of twists over those ends and cut that off. I am going to make sure I have that on. You can see it moved a little bit there. So I want to catch it before it gets away. It is a little bit more I guess inside, that's a tighter more dry kind of material. So if you don't get lashed, it can't get away.
Okay. I am going to rib, I am going to take this wire now off of my little material clip there, my material spring. And this time I am going to wrap this thing, instead of having my diagonal lines go towards the eye, I am going to wrap as they go away from the eye.
So I wrap back this way, and wrap it again this way. Make sure I have to move that over enough that I can do that with that, making a real mess. Now this way, this way what I am doing is I am coming back across the diagonal, the counter-diagonal wraps that go towards the head. I will turn on to get that.
I am going to grab this around a little bit in here and kind of form a little bit more bulk, almost like wrapping some lead on here for some weight. This copper is relatively heavy. It is not - we don't know the density of the lead, but it does have some weight too that you can build it up.
Okay. So I am going to clip that off, and dubbing stuck on there, and also I'd say don't use your best scissors for this. It's okay to do it now and then, but I would continuously cut wire with a nice pair of scissors. Wrap that down.
Now, I am going to take what I said before I had that old piece leftover, and if I had some from the other piece I could save it, but they are not any long enough. So I am going to get some more now fibers from that tail. Again, I am taking this and I am grabbing few strings of that. I am going to mix that in with my other pieces that I had. Now, I will tie that in.
Actually you know what? I am going to do it this way. There are different versions of this. I am going to show you another way to do this. After I finish this up, I will share a little bit of advice on another way you can conserve some material.
Okay, tie that back. Now, this is where it becomes an American version. I am going to now add in some peacock herl. Herl refers to these long straight fibers that you see on a peacock tail.
Ostriches also have this, also ostrich herl. Ostriches have herl as well which comes off of their feathers, that come off of various parts of their body, body feathers, and they're long strands with small little fibers on them. You can take a look at it. It's almost like a piece of hackle almost, right?
So if I wrap this around, they are going to stick out like a hackle, looking like a hackle barbell. So I will tie a piece of this in. One should be enough, but if I needed to I could put a couple in, but I think I will be okay with that. I will wrap that in.
Make it nice and fold. I can wrap down close to the eye, but not right up to it again and then back again. I can even do some leaving with this as I do with hackle to make sure it gets deep inside there.
I am going to build this up. You can see I am not doing anything specific. I am going all over the place, so I can get a nice full bunch, different angles coming in is fine just so I can get it sort of look scruffy. The key to a successful nymph is not to have a nice uniform, clean thorax which does not have part movement, and that seems like it's lifeless, if there isn't some sense of you can say, little points that poke-out or little fibers that poke-out because it intends to and make it look like it's breathing and moving, wiggling.
Okay. Now, I am going to pull this down. However, I want to add in some legs on this. I wouldn't have to. A lot of people leave the legs off. I could just leave it just like this, it should be okay, but I want to put some legs in.
What I was going to say earlier is that if you were careful enough with your wing case; you could actually have and see a very short section tied in here. When you pull this forward, you can just pull back the legs or pull back those strands in the front and form legs, and I can show you how to do that.
Another version, but this time, I am just going to cut some down and put them in on either side because it's going to have the same effect. And just it's a little more time consuming. So once again I have got these, I want to align them up. I am going to split this bunch in half, so I have a few on each side. I don't need too many. Maybe four, three or four, four, I guess four or five up on each side.
I have had two of these. I am going to tie that in. Once again it curves away like this. So I want to make sure that they curve away on the side of the body. Legs, for length again, I don't want them too long. I am going to have them come back above, a little bit more than mid shank, keep that bunch together. And then hold it against the backside with my finger.
Tie it down, lash it down nice and tight. Cut that out. Frank Sawyer developed this. He was trying to minimize on waste. One of the things that I am doing and I think that the American version does from very beginning is there is more waste involved in terms of wasting those feathers.
His goal was to try to tight the whole thing just as if strands. I am trying to make it so it is pretty much all based on the same fibers throughout. So it has a very similar feel throughout as it moves through the water.
Now, I can pull those, those strands over for my wing case, okay? I am going to make them relatively straight, and I want them all twisted up. First, take it in as I showed you, again come in with a soft loop in beginning, and wrap back away from that head to the beginning.
I am going to clip that. I am going to clip it on the diagonal, back away from the eye. So I have not just a straight blunt cut, but more or less a tapered cut that goes down, so I can cover it easier, and cover it up. Almost there, there is not going to be anything involving -- I am going to be tweaking up this fly afterwards. So I would finish it and I am done.
Okay. Moving up to disengage, get down and got it. Again, I am going to make a nice neat head by making my fingernails act as a compressor, just pushing those in tight, and also pulling down as I do that.
Once again, leave that thread in or the bottom, excuse me, thread attached before you cut it away. It's easier to manage at the end if you cut it free off, and you have trouble with that. But, it is good to mount on there.
I am not going to put anything on the wing case this time. I am just going to let it be, so it has more of a sense to breathe. I don't want it to be too tight in terms as the fibers being tightened up because then we can't have bubbles trapped inside of them. I often will just stick that in there. At the end it's kind of a habit of mine, but it tends to work because the stuff dries very fast, and I am going to not worry about that clogging. Cut it off close.