There's a reason why articulated streamers are popular – they attract fish. Why not apply the same concept to nymphs? The articulated tail imitates movement of swimming nymphs which attracts the attention of trout. Articulated nymph patterns have been around for quite sometime. Dave Whitlock wrote about the articulated damselfly nymph in the book, “The Fly Tyers Almanac” back in 1975. He found that this pattern presented a life-like action that entices fish to strike.
There are several different ways to attach the tail to the body. Since the hook bend is on the front, I felt a 15 pound mono attaching both parts would suffice. Another option would be to place the hook in the back instead of the front. If this was the case, I would use heavy wire connecting the two and securing with some glue.
Pheasant Tail nymphs should be in every fisher's fly box. They imitate a variety of nymphs and can be tied with or without a bead head. Change the color of the pheasant tail and dubbing as you like. Instead of dubbing, you can also use peacock herl.
Fish this pattern as you would any nymph pattern (drag free drift or wet fly swing in moving waters; slow retrieval with twitching in still waters).
HOOK: TMC 5262 ( I used the same hook for the tail. Or you can purchase commercially available extended shanks.)
RIB: copper wire
TAIL / BODY: pheasant tail
UV RESIN: Deer Creek Diamond Fine (optional, but makes a more sturdy fly)
WINGCASE: pheasant tail
THORAX: Lite-brite purple haze
LEGS: pheasant tail
Step 1: We will tie the “wiggle tail” portion of the fly first. Wrap thread around the hook shank evenly.
Step 2: Tie in the copper wire for the ribbing.
Step 3: Tie in the tail using a few fibers from pheasant tail using about 4 wraps to secure on the hook.
Step 4: Carefully lift up the fibers, then continue threading the thread up the hook shank toward the hook eye.
Step 5: Next, wrap the hook shank with the pheasant tail, then tie in behind the hook eye.
Step 6: Rib the tail using the copper wire. Secure the wire behind the hook eye, then whip finish.
Step 7: Here I like to add a small drop of Deer Creek Diamond Fine UV Resin on the head.
Step 8: Using wire cutters, snip off the hook at the bend.
Step 9: Thread a piece of 15 # to 20 # mono through the hook eye.
Step 10: Now we tie the front body of the fly by wrapping thread around the hook shank.
Step 11: Attach the tail portion of the fly by securing the mono on the hook. Make sure it is close to the body, yet still able to “wiggle”. After wrapping with the thread, you may secure it even more by using super glue.
Step 12: For the wing case, tie in pheasant tail. Then, add dubbing.
Step 13: When dubbing forward, be sure to leave room as to not crowd the eye of the hook.
Step 14: Bring the pheasant tail forward over the dubbing and tie in behind the eye of the hook bringing the extra feathers down and back.
Step 15: After whip finishing, secure with small drop of UV resin to secure the fly.
Step 16: Trim the fibers for the legs.
The finished product.